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City receives $3M workforce development grant

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The city of Springfield was chosen for a $3 million grant designed to spur workforce development growth by helping people in correctional facilities prepare to reenter the job force.

The U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration is providing funding for the city's Department of Workforce Development to conduct job training and career readiness programs for incarcerated individuals who are slated to be released back into the southern Missouri area, according to a news release.

The city department will institute the About Persons with Past Legal Issues in Employment program at Ozark Correctional Center in Fordland, Tipton Correctional Center and Chillicothe Correctional Institution. APPLIE is a Missouri Job Center program started in 2006 as a workshop, said department spokesperson Katherine Trombetta.

"The goal of the project is to place a minimum of 400 justice-involved individuals into the APPLIE program prior to their release to ensure they are ready to rejoin the workforce," said Sally Payne, the department's interim director, in the release. "We know that individuals who are employed are much less likely to reoffend."

The APPLIE program provides credentialed job training, as well as interview readiness skills. Additionally, it teaches participants about personal finance, how to inform potential employers of their legal issues and how to use technology.

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