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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Northwest Region-Rural Consortium

Routt County Jail

Workforce Challenge

Steamboat Springs Workforce staff was actively involved in assisting the Routt County Sheriff’s Department to establish a high school equivalency program for their inmates. The workforce staff and Francis, the onsite tutor, facilitated several meetings between interested parties, but progress was stalled due to challenges with eligibility, clearances, and follow up issues with inmates who could be enrolled into the Workforce Investment Act program.

Workforce Solution

Things started to move forward when the Routt County Jail tutor, Francis, became more involved in solving these challenges. With each meeting, progress was made with establishing a formal program. Francis acted as a volunteer initially, and located a very interested inmate who wished to achieve his high school equivalency diploma. Francis worked closely with Workforce staff on assisting with program eligibility for the inmate, completing paperwork and setting schedules. After jumping all the hurdles, the inmate was enrolled in the WIA program and tutoring and studying began in earnest.

Outcomes & Benefits

Francis partnered with a local church to fund her own tutoring time with the WIA-enrolled inmate. In October 2013, two inmates graduated from the program, including the individual that was receiving workforce funding. The newspaper reported on the successful first GED Program graduates of the jail program. With all the kinks worked out and workforce and community involvement, participating inmates will be released from jail with more than just a criminal record in the future. All parties are appreciative of workforce and community involvement and efforts.

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