The Women’s Resource Agency has been awarded a $50,000 contract from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to expand its outreach to women in the El Paso County penal system.
For more than a year, WRA has been offering services to jail inmates and women in community correction programs. The contract will enable WRA to expand its work under the new Stop the Revolving Door Program, providing support services and employment readiness training, to give women a head start on job hunting once they are released.
WRA plans to help 10 to 20 clients while they are still incarcerated but about to be released. The clients will receive one-on-one coaching from job-readiness specialists and participate in small-group meetings. In addition, they will learn how to write a resume, use computer programs, practice interview techniques and other skills to help bridge the gap from incarceration to the workplace.
Clients also will have access to WRA’s free Dress for Success clothing boutique for interview and workplace outfits.
“Women emerging from prison or jail face numerous challenges to a smooth re-entry into society, and one of the biggest obstacles is securing employment. Gender-responsive programs often prove successful,” said Beth Roalstad, executive director of the Women’s Resource Agency.
For nearly 40 years, the nonprofit organization has been assisting local women and girls in attaining and maintaining self-sufficiency and economic independence.
The agency collaborates with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department and ComCor (Community Corrections) to assist women who have a criminal history.