Armond Budish Touts Programs For Less Recidivism and More Pre-Kindergarten Education
Cuyahoga County Executive ArmondBudish used his second State of the County address this afternoon ato announce a new program aimed at curbing recidivism.
The inmate re-entry program at the Euclid Jail will help ex-offenders get help from Cuyahoga Community College, and it will be open to inmates at other county correctional facilities, too. Budish says it’s the best way to cure the back-and-forth cycle for many inmates.
“We needed a way to start training people so that they have the skills necessary to get a job when they’re released from jail. We will have a whole assortment of re-entry services available, from resume preparation to skills training in a variety of different fields.”
Inmates will also be able to work with Edwin’s Restaurant on culinary skills. Budish said during his speech that he wants to create not just jobs, but careers, in Cuyahoga County. To make that happen, workforce and job placement programs will now get extra incentives from the county for placing residents in positions that are full-time and pay at least $12 an hour.
Budish also announced a $22 million commitment to the county’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten program. Cuyahoga County pledged $10 million toward them. And now, more than a dozen companies have pledged matching funds of $12 million. Budish says the money will fund a county-wide expansion of the program.
“This is truly a huge commitment, because it was done in addition to the more than $9 million per year the county already devotes to pre-K and because it was done while filling a $68 million budget hole.”
Budish says the funds will allow the county to double the number of 3- and 4-year-old children in the program with families living below 300 percent of the poverty level – f2,000 to 4,000 children. And he says the county can sustain those numbers through 2020.