Funds for women ex-offenders, parolees and probationers
Congresswoman Barbara Lee and PIC Chief Executive Officer, Gay Plair Cobb. Photo by Stephen Brooks, Jr.
On Thursday June 28th Congresswoman Barbara Lee announced that the Oakland Private Industry Council (PIC) has been selected to receive $709,272 in funding from the Department of Labor (DOL) to provide workforce-development assistance for adult and youth ex-offenders, with an emphasis on women parolees and probationers.
Gay Plair Cobb, Chief Executive Officer of the Oakland Private Industry Council, Inc. said, “We (PIC) embrace the challenge and look forward to helping women become employed in jobs that will sustain them and their families.”
The PIC is one of nine non-profit organizations nationwide that has been selected to receive grant support to provide job-training for ex-offenders that will eventually lead to credentials in high-demand industries, employment preparation, mentoring and assistance in securing housing, substance-abuse counseling and mental health services. “Women are one of the fastest growing segments of America’s prison population; however, there is a critical shortage of services available for them after their release,” says Cobb. All totaled, the nine non-profits organizations will receive nearly $12 million in grant support.
Cobb said that PIC will use the grant money to, “provide wrap-around services including pre-release counseling and job readiness training, post-release skills training, job placement and peer mentoring. In addition, women will have access to substance abuse treatment, legal representation as needed and mental health counseling.”
“I am pleased that the PIC has been selected to receive this vital funding,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “The PIC has a longstanding history of providing a broad range of employment services for our community. And with this funding, the PIC will be able to continue providing accessible, high-quality training and employment services to ex-offenders (primarily female) working to transition back into society.”