Platte Institute awards microgrants to Nebraska groups that help integrate former inmates into workforce
OMAHA — Six Nebraska organizations that help former inmates tap into jobs and progress in their communities have been awarded “microgrants” from the Platte Institute.
The nonprofit Institute said the funds are rooted in its mission to remove barriers to growth and opportunity, especially in workforce development.
CEO Jim Vokal said the grants underscore what the Institute sees as a need for Nebraska lawmakers — to adopt workforce licensing reform, particularly universal recognition of licenses from out-of-state along with a second chance component to remove barriers that now exclude some former inmates from state licensure in occupations.
Such legislation, Vokal said, “will open our workforce to groups that have traditionally faced barriers to work and those impacted by burdensome overregulation.”
Grant recipients each will receive up to $2,000, for a total of $10,000. Vokal said that each group brings a pivotal and diverse role to the community.
“From providing vital job training and placement programs, extending support to incarcerated women, offering alternative social training to those incarcerated, to supplying clothing and hygiene products enabling individuals to present their best selves in job searches,” he said.
The awardees: Heart Ministry Center; On The Inside; Omaha Alternatives to Violence Project; Bridges to Hope; QUEENS Butterfly House; and Nebraskans Unafraid.