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For Immediate Release
Contacts:
Kerry Koonce: (515) 281-9646
Wendy Mihm-Herold: (866) 520-8986 extension 111

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Iowa Workforce Development Part of $1.1 Million Grant to Serve Youth Offenders

DECORAH – The United States Department of Labor announced that Workforce Connections, Inc. will receive $1.1 million to serve youth who have been adjudicated or involved the justice systems. Building off its Department of Labor Award winning program, X-Treme Opportunity, Workforce Connections, Inc. will offer X-Treme Opportunity from three sites: the city of La Crosse (serving La Crosse and Monroe County WI and Houston County MN), Portage, Wisconsin (Columbia County) and Lincoln Hills School, a residential facility for juveniles. The program will also be expanded throughout the 7 Rivers Region by duplicating the program in northeastern Iowa and in southeastern Minnesota, through contracts with Iowa Workforce Development Region 1 (Decorah/Dubuque, IA) and Workforce Development, Inc., (Rochester, MN). These two agencies partner with Workforce Connections, Inc. to form the 7 Rivers Region Workforce Development Alliance and cooperatively address workforce development issues in an economically-tied region.

X-Treme Opportunity will provide life skills attainment, skills assessment, career exploration, Individualized Employment Plan development, high school education or occupational skills training, work readiness and experience, and counseling services (AODA mental health or behavioral) for at-risk youth. Youth will be prepared for high demand occupation in manufacturing, health care, construction and transportation.

“We are excited to be able to expand our X-Treme Opportunity program. For the last three years we have been working with our 7 Rivers Workforce Development Partners to proactively address workforce development issues in the region. One of our targets was provide career development services in high demand industries for youth. This grant will allow the partners to implement its strategies,” said Workforce Connections, Inc. Executive Director, Jerry Hanoski.

Region one which is throughout 8 county areas in Northeast Iowa is extremely pleased to be part of Youth Expansion grant. It is a great opportunity to enhance our services to youth in order to create career leaders, providing training and assist youth in obtaining employment. “It is great opportunity to use Wisconsin model that has been developed and proven to assist youth offenders down the right path of employment,” said Regional Manager for IWD/NICC, Wendy Mihm-Herold.

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