June 18, 2015
Contact: Stephanie Miller, Communications Director, Office of The County Executive; 608-267-8823

MADISON—Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced the creation of the Dane County Jail Based Job Center. The Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin was awarded a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to create the job center at the Dane County Jail. The Job Center will serve 100 participants over 18 months and is modeled after the successful “Windows to Work” initiative.

The Dane County Based Jail Based Job Center will provide pre-release career services that are engaged with community based Job Center resources during pre-release and feed directly into post-release community based Job Center services. Participants who enroll will be assigned to a jail based career coach. The Career Coach will provide pre-release services and support post-release services to assist in the transition from incarceration to community.“I am very proud to be able to announce the creation of the Dane County Jail Based Job Center,” said County Executive Joe Parisi. “This is just another effort in our initiative to work to make sure all citizens in Dane County have Access to Opportunity. This will give people a real second chance.”

“This support will help us in efforts to help reduce the high recidivism in our communities through better coordination of pre-and post-release services for offenders,” Pat Schramm, Executive Director, Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin said. “This collaborative initiative with the Dane County Sheriff’s Office and the Dane County Executive’s Office affirms our commitment to assure re-entering offenders have every possible edge to successfully enter and retain employment. We’re excited to partner with these agencies to offer transitional workforce strategies to help combat recidivism and improve our local economy.”

Pre-release components include: cognitive intervention, general work skills and expectations, financial literacy, community resources, job seeking applications and resumes. The Career Coach will transition participants who move to job placement to the community Job Center services. The community Job Center staff will provide job retention, follow-up support and services in collaboration with other community partners.

This spring County Executive Parisi announced the Access to Opportunity Initiative to break down barriers to success that too many face in our community. The most reliable vehicle out of poverty and toward upward mobility is accessing and maintaining family sustaining employment.