SLATE Awarded $4.5 Million Young Adult Reentry Grant through FHI360 Three-City Partnership with Los Angeles, Hartford

New program developed to guide St. Louis' young adults ages 18-24 out of the justice system and into productive employment or further education

September 12, 2017 | 2 min reading time

This article is 5 years old. It was published on September 12, 2017.

ST. LOUIS, September 12, 2017 – The Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (DOL-ETA) awarded a $4.5 million intermediary organizational grant to FHI360 for “The Compass Rose Collaborative”(Collaborative), a young adult reentry program including the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE), Our Piece of the Pie®, Inc. (OPP) in Hartford, Connecticut, and the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) in California.

These DOL-ETA Reentry Programs attack one of the most serious social problems in America: the challenge of young people successfully entering the workforce and educational systems after significant brushes with the law. A recent study by the Campaign for Youth Justice found that 39% of young adults in confinement are there because of technical violation of probation, drug offenses, public order offenses, status offenses, and low-level property offenses. In addition, recent Justice Policy Institute studies found spillover effects related to crime - youth unemployment is exacerbated when neighborhoods suffer high crime rates, and education levels fall when public safety levels drop.

These facts illustrate a devastating cycle that impacts not only St. Louis, but cities throughout the U.S. Young people involved in the justice system keep coming back, and the environments to which they return plunge even more young people into crime. To help the DOL solve this urgent problem, FHI 360 has developed the Compass Rose Collaborative in three cities across the nation. Together, we will guide young adults ages 18-24 out of the justice system and into productive employment or further education, just as the familiar compass roses found on maps have helped sailors find their way for generations. 

“We are thrilled to be a part of The Compass Rose Collaborative multi-city partnership,” said Dr. Alice M Prince, Executive Director of SLATE. “This program build true bridges to prosperity for our City.”

The Compass Rose Collaborative model is guided by four overarching program principles, which have been proven beneficial by research, evidence, and promising practices: 1) positive youth development; 2) combined services for recently-released individuals; 3) work readiness, development, and placement; and 4) peer learning.

The Collaborative’s principles of work readiness, development, and placement are based on the DOL report “What Works in Job Training: A Synthesis of Evidence,” which found that interventions that provide a broad spectrum of job-related skills and opportunities — such as teaching job search methods, interview skills, good work habits, and workplace ethics; building specific technical knowledge and skills; and providing participants the opportunity to explore careers and gain on-the-job experience through job shadowing, apprenticeships, and internships—are far more effective than interventions confined to any one of those aspects.

“To create real, lasting change for St. Louis, it is paramount that we develop pathways to prosperity for reentry youth and young adults,” said Dr. Prince. “Combined with existing SLATE programs such as 24-hour Workforce High School, YouthBuild, and Prison to Prosperity, the Compass Rose Collaborative offers focused support to help these young people establish a foundation for long-term success.”

To learn more about available programs and workshops, St. Louis area jobseekers are invited to visit SLATE at 1520 Market Street - Third Floor, read more online at, or call (314) 589-8000.

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