The Southwestern Pennsylvania Re-entry Coalition (SPARC)
The Southwestern Pennsylvania Re-entry Coalition (SPARC) is an effort to foster collaboration among agencies in Southwestern Pennsylvania to coordinate resources for individuals whose criminal record creates barriers to self-sufficiency.
Representatives from participating organizations have come together to find the best way to provide ex-offenders with the services they need as they re-enter society and the workforce.
SPARC has identified six priority areas which hold the best potential for improving employment opportunities for ex-offenders in our region as follows:
- Identify appropriate career paths (excluding those from which ex-offenders are banned, such as health/medical and financial services)
- Increase the number of employers willing to hire ex-offenders by educating them about the Federal Bonding Program and Work Opportunity Tax Credit
- Train and prepare ex-offenders using surveys, workforce development curricula, best practice learning methodology, and vocational training
- Qualify for support and resources through the Second Chance Act
- Address policy issues such as the automatic suspension of driver's licenses regardless of the offense and the practice of asking job seekers about criminal records on first initial application forms
- Increase connectivity across three levels of the justice system (county, state, federal)
If you would like a complete list of participating groups or would like to learn more about SPARC, please contact Jeff Brooks at 412-464-4000 ext. 4015.
Please click here for an electronic version of the SPARC Directory. The April 2013 Edition includes the contact information for over 75 human service providers within Southwestern Pennsylvania.