Office of Community Corrections

Momentum Urban Employment Initiative

The Momentum Urban Employment Initiative (Momentum), a program run by Urban Alliance, Inc., is a radically different way of addressing Workforce Development in urban neighborhoods. With a unique blend of life skills, essential skills and employment readiness skills, Momentum gets to the root of what causes job loss and develops traits in employees that employers crave.

Each Momentum graduate completes a rigorous 6-week course of in-class instruction and 100 hours of Volunteer Work Experience. Additionally, Momentum graduates are offered an opportunity to attend an industry-demanded, intensive, skill development academy conducted by Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Career and Continuing Education Center at the Groves Campus, or in conjunction with Urban Alliance at their Technical Training Center, in disciplines such as CNC, logistics and supply-chain management, production technology and quality assurance/control. Moreover, graduates are assisted in transitioning into sustaining-wage jobs from a network of over 50 local employers, including leading, local manufacturers and international Tier I automotive suppliers.

By partnering with community agencies, notably pre-trial service agencies and probation offices, Momentum targets un- and under-employed individuals, most of who have criminal backgrounds, suffer from substance abuse issues, generational poverty and/or co-occurring dis-orders, the program sustains a >70% graduation rate and a post-90 day employment retention rate of >80%. OCC staff work with Urban Alliance personnel in the case management of criminal justice involved individuals enrolled in the program and provide for research analysis of the program by a Carnegie, Tier II institution.

The Momentum Urban Employment Initiative was selected to be part of a featured workshop on Systems Integration and the Management of Special Populations, at the 2019 National Criminal Justice/International Community Corrections Association (NCJA/ICCA) Annual Conference.