INDIANAPOLIS — Public Advocates in Community re-Entry (PACE) has launched a new workforce development program for “justice-involved” individuals in Marion County.

The pathway to a new career is a nine-week program consisting of three phases that will help those impacted by the criminal justice system to learn the necessary hard and soft skills to receive better employment opportunities.

Funding for the program comes from a $300,000 grant from the Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative (IAAQLI).

The three phases for the program include a job readiness program, advanced training with Catapult and a workplace experience with a potential employer for a total of nine weeks. A paid stipend is also provided through the program along with an opportunity to earn college credits from Ivy Tech Community College.

“The individuals we serve have been outside of the workforce due to incarceration and face countless barriers to high-wage employment opportunities,” said PACE Executive Director Rhiannon Edwards. “Giving this population the opportunity to participate in Launching Your Career will enable them to better compete in the workforce and earn a wage that lifts them out of poverty once and for all. The program will help them truly take advantage of their second chance.”

The program is open to Marion County residents ages 25 and older with prior justice system involvement and the first cohort begins July 2023. You can find more information on the PACE initiative on their website.