Vocational/Life Skills Programs

Vocational/Life Skills Programs

Being prepared to work upon release is an important component to successful reentry and how we keep people safe. NDCS offers a variety of vocational and life skills training programs. 

In 2014, the Nebraska Legislature passed LB 907, which allocated funds for the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services to partner with community agencies to provide vocational & life skills training to people while incarcerated, on parole or under probation supervision and for up to 18 months after discharge. The providers apply for a grant and are selected based on specified criteria. The current two-year grant cycle, which began in July of 2016, includes the vocational & life skills partners*** listed below. 

These grant-funded programs, along with other vocational programs listed below, provide a variety of services intended to increase employability and reduce recidivism. They target the five stabilizing factors including: housing, employment/education, mental health, substance use, and supportive relationships. 

Program Description
180 Re-entry Assistance Program

This program provides incarcerated individuals with preparation for the workforce through noncredit work readiness workshops. It will also help individuals determine their career pathways and to better prepare for their eventual release. 

ABC Construction: Construction Technology***

ABC Construction is a grant-funded provider offering training programs that are followed by a building project. The project allows students to experience work-based learning and hands-on applications in carpentry, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, drywall, roofing, finish carpentry and painting. 

ABC Construction: OSHA Certificate***

"The Core Curriculum" is the foundation course for all National Center for Construction Education Research (NCCER) apprenticeship training programs. It is followed by a building project that allows students to experience work-based and learn hands-on applications in carpentry, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, drywall, roofing, finish carpentry and painting. 

Cornhusker State Industries

Cornhusker State Industries (CSI) establishes employment opportunities for individuals that approximate private-sector work opportunities. 

Defy Ventures

This program targets entrepreneurial-minded individuals and offers intensive leadership development, business plan competitions, executive mentoring, financial investment, and startup incubation. 

Mental Health Association ***

This grant program provides short-term transitional housing and supported employment services for formerly incarcerated adults living with behavioral health issues. (HOPE, REAL, Honu House) 

Planning with a Purpose

Planning with a Purpose teaches constructive thinking, responsibility and goal setting. 

Re-Entry Program

This workshop provides support, life skills and employment skills through the use of mock interviews and problem solving. 

ReConnect: Vocational and Life Skills Program ***

ReConnect places emphasis on employment preparation and retention skills while also helping clients develop comprehensive problem solving and life skills needed to be successful in the workplace and in life. 

Released and Restored

Released and Restored provides life skills training for employment, finances and consumer education. The program also focuses on helping individuals learn critical thinking skills, recognize distorted thinking and develop techniques to address problem areas.


Rentwise educates renters on how to obtain and keep rental housing.

ResCare Workforce Services: Vocational & Life Skills Program ***

ResCare provides incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals with job preparation and job retention services. 

Resume classes

The Omaha Public Library provides resume classes to help incarcerated individuals prepare for employment searches and interviews. 

TRADE Program: Vocational and Life Skills Program ***

The TRADE Program teaches life skills core classes including Conflict Resolution, Critical Thinking, Communication, Personal Finance, Healthy Relationships, Basic Computer and Job Prep. 

Western Alternative Corrections ***

Services offered by Western Alternative Corrections include but are not limited to: Residential, Transition Skills, Basic Money Management, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Parenting, Family Reunification, Vocational Assessments, Job Placement Services, Individual Program Planning, Risk/Needs Assessment, Progress Meetings, Case Notes and Release Planning.