BIRMINGHAM, AL – U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) announced today that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $6 million in federal grant funding to the Dannon Project. The Dannon Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit located in Birmingham, Alabama, helps non-violent offenders who have been involved in the criminal justice system with re-entry, by providing valuable resources such as short-term training, certifications, job placement and case management, beginning six months prior to release. The grant money will be allocated to two distinct programs, with $4.5 million going to the Re-entry Project for Young Adults and $1.5 million going to Re-entry for Adults in Birmingham and Montgomery.
“The Dannon Project is a truly invaluable resource to the community that works to fill in the gaps left by the criminal justice system by providing practical resources and networking opportunities to our most at-risk community members, so that they have a real chance to build better lives for themselves and their families,” Sewell said. “I know that the Dannon Project will put this money to good use to provide hundreds of Alabamians with the tools necessary to thrive in the Birmingham and Montgomery communities.”
The Re-entry Project for Young Adults, which received $4.5 million, supports men and women age 18-24 in targeted low-income areas in Jefferson County and the City of Montgomery who are currently or previously justice-involved or who have dropped out of high school. A projected 563 participants will be impacted. The Re-entry Program for Adults, which received $1.5 million, supports recently incarcerated (within the last 180 days) men and women age 25 and older in targeted low-income areas of Birmingham and Jefferson County.
“The Dannon Project is thankful to receive these awards and for the opportunity to make an impact in each of these communities,” said Dannon Project Executive Director Kerri Pruitt. “Under both programs, enrolled participants will have the option to follow one or more of three job training tracks: Industry-Recognized Credentials; Pre-Apprenticeship; or Career Pathways. The first two opportunities focus on training and job placement in employment sectors predicted to have the greatest job growth and/or high demand for skilled workers within the major industries of Birmingham’s regional economy. The third option, Career Pathways, will focus on facilitating participants’ enrollment at post-secondary institutions to attain educational credentials for their desired areas of employment.”