Second Chance Academy offers job training, career opportunities to inmates

Many people leaving jail in Lexington will get an opportunity to have a second chance at finding a job thanks to the new Second Chance Academy, which will offer job training and job placement, Mayor Linda Gorton said today.

“We’re working on employability skills, resume writing, mock interviews and an interest inventory before inmates leave jail to give them a better chance at employment,” Gorton said. “We want to put them on the path to success, and get them off the path that often results in people returning to jail.”

The six-week academy will identify inmates who “want to work,” said Amy Glasscock, Lexington Director of Business Engagement. “By giving the formerly-incarcerated enrolled in the Second Chance Academy an opportunity at gainful employment, we unlock a pool of untapped talent with higher retention rates, increase workforce participation, and we lower recidivism rates,” Glasscock said.

A key component of the program is job placement. Mason King, CEO of Jubilee Jobs, said, “Jubilee Jobs is incredibly excited to partner with LFUCG in launching the Second Chance Academy. This transformative program promises to equip individuals post-release with essential skills, fostering workforce readiness and facilitating their successful reintegration into society. Together, we will work for sustenance dignity and hope.” Jubilee Jobs is a non-profit organization that specializes in finding entry-level jobs for the unemployed and underemployed.

The program, which begins July 1, will serve about 100 inmates each year for two years, working in small groups of 15 inmates. The city dedicated $150,000 in American Rescue Plan funds to it.

The program will work hand-in-hand with the Barrier Free Re-entry program, which starts July 1 with assessments. The program, funded through a $616,000 federal grant secured by Congressman Andy Barr, is designed to help those in recovery for substance abuse who are leaving jail. Like the Second Chance Academy, the Barrier Free program helps people find employment.

“We’re taking a comprehensive approach, finding new ways to help people clear the hurdles that often stop them from success in life,” Gorton said.

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