Lewis introduces The Workforce Reentry Act
WASHINGTON, D.C.- Congressman Jason Lewis (MN-02) issued the following statement after introducing H.R. 7069 The Workforce Reentry Act in the House yesterday morning.
“Breaking the cycle of incarceration and reducing recidivism will require an innovative approach towards helping ex-offenders reenter the workforce. My bill makes long-overdue reforms to an existing program, enhancing accountability to ensure individuals gain the skills they need to sustain meaningful employment. Helping these men and woman get back on the right track so they can contribute to our economy is critical to building a safer and stronger nation.”
The Workforce Reentry Act reforms the existing Reentry Employment Opportunities (REO) program to prompt innovation and improvement in the reentry of ex-offenders into the workforce through competitive start-up grants, rigorous evaluation, and dissemination of best practices.
· Develops in-demand skills by prioritizing funding towards entities that provide programs or partnerships to equip ex-offenders with industry-recognized credentials in in-demand occupations, such as apprenticeship programs.
· Builds long-term success by requiring grant recipients to provide a 50% match of funds and a plan to continue effective programs with non-federal funds after the grant period concludes.
· Increases accountability and transparency by holding programs accountable for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity performance outcomes on employment, earnings, and credential attainment.
· Expands awareness around “what works” by requiring an independent evaluation and the dissemination of best practices, encouraging states, localities, and non-profits to pursue evidence-based approaches to ex-offender reentry into the workforce.