Youth offenders getting help from CWC grant

Jun 30, 2012 From staff reports

Central Wyoming College received a $1.2 million grant to provide vocational and life skills to 18- to 21-year-old adults who had been juvenile offenders, according to a statement from the institution.

The U.S. Department of Labor grant allows CWC to launch the "Second Wind Project," a program providing work and life skills with a goal of reducing the chance of recidivism.

Lynne McAuliffe, dean for Workforce and Community Education and the grant proposal's author, said Second Wind will offer educational programs in high-demand occupations as well as life skills in human relations, financial literacy and workplace expectations.

The program will also provide supportive services to help participants identify their barriers to success, McAuliffe said.

Wyoming has the second highest rate of juvenile detention in the nation, and Riverton has the highest crime rate per capita in the state, she said.

"We need solutions to reduce crime and recidivism," McAuliffe said.

Her department has selected career paths for the juvenile offenders so they can get jobs that will pay self-sufficient wages. Targeted occupations include college and industry credentials in three programs including Foundations of the Energy Industry, Facilities Maintenance Technology and Customer Service Specialist.

The participants are not limited to these programs and the curriculum can be customized to meet the unique needs of the individual.

"We will provide professional case management services to assist students in a family-centered approach to identifying and removing obstacles to their success," she said.

Services include referrals and funding for counseling, substance abuse, legal issues, transportation, child care and housing.

The program also includes a service learning component to allow students the opportunity to make a positive impact in the community.

The six- to eight-month program is "intensive," McAuliffe said, noting that each student who completes the program will be tracked.

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