State offers $5M to expand anti-gang job training efforts

Sacramento Business Journal – by Kelly Johnson Staff writer

 

The state is offering $5 million in grant money to expand anti-gang job training efforts.

 

The California Labor and Workforce Development Agency announced Friday that it wants local government and community-based organizations to submit proposals for these funds to combat gang involvement through job training and education programs.

 

Groups must submit their proposals by Nov. 14.

 

The money comes through Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s California Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention Initiative, or CalGRIP, launched in May 2007.

 

The program targeted up to $31 million in state and federal funds for local anti-gang efforts.

 

In March, the state awarded $7.3 million in grants to groups that provided job training and education programs targeting youth at risk of joining gangs or those wanting to leave gangs.

 

Sacramento Local Conservation Corps was one of 19 organizations that received program funds in that round. The group, the only local recipient, received $400,000.

 

“By investing in job training and education for those who might otherwise join gangs and those who seek to leave gangs, we stand the best chance of helping these youth turn their backs on a life of crime and become contributing members of society,” Victoria Bradshaw, secretary of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, said in a news release.

 

Job training “may be the single best long-term antidote to gang violence,” Paul Seave, director of the governor’s Gang and Youth Violence Policy Office, said in a news release.

 

“A good job is the best alternative to life on the street and an effective anti-crime strategy,” he said.

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