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 2013 Edition includes the contact information for over 75 human service providers within Southwestern Pennsylvania.