Southwestern Pennsylvania Re-entry Coalition (SPARC)

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Re-entry Coalition (SPARC) was formed as an effort to coordinate resources for individuals whose criminal record creates barriers to self-sufficiency, through collaboration among agencies in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

SPARC brings representatives from these participating organizations together to find the best way to provide formerly incarcerated individuals with the services and resources they need to successfully re-enter society and the workforce.

SPARC Priority Areas

  • Identify potential career paths, excluding those from which individuals with criminal backgrounds are banned by law
  • Increase the number of employers willing to hire formerly incarcerated individuals through education of incentive programs
  • Address policy issues through information and advocacy
  • Increase connectivity across three levels of the justice system (county, state, federal)

Past and Ongoing Events

“Train the Trainer”: Lunch and Learn sessions for agencies wanting to learn more about critical issues facing formerly incarcerated individuals and innovative strategies to address them.

“Life Without Bars”: A conference for agencies who contribute to the re-entry process and job seekers going through that process, providing strategies and solutions to effectively reintegrate individuals with criminal backgrounds into Southwestern Pennsylvania communities.

SPARC Member Organizations

Allegheny County Probation

Beaver County Job Training

Bidwell Employment Training Center

Community College of Allegheny County

Divine Intervention Ministries

Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania CareerLink

Allegheny County Jail

The Albert Institute

Family Services of Western Pennsylvania

US District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania

Mon Valley Initiative

Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

Pennsylvania Prison Society

University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work

The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh

Beaver County Domestic Relations

Turtle Creek Valley MH/MR

Veterans Leadership Program

Federal Public Defender’s Office

FCI Morgantown

FCI Hazelton

MVI’s Workforce & Business Development Program is funded in part by a Community Services Block Grant.