Tucson-based Pima Prevention Partnership has received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Labor Department to provide youthful offenders with workforce and life skills training.

The grant will offer young offenders a chance for success and opportunities to build better lives for themselves, said Charlie Alcaraz, clinical services director for the nonprofit organization.

Participants in the program must be 16 to 24. They must live in Pima County, never have been involved with the adult criminal justice system and have no sex-related convictions other than prostitution.

The grant will help support and expand services offered through the organization's Sin Puertas program.

Alcaraz said the grant will help with case management, needs assessments and placing youths in career training programs.

"One of the barriers our young people face is they don't know what's available to them," he said. "We want to help them improve their ability to make positive decisions in their lives."

The $1 million grant is expected to assist 138 juveniles and young adults over the 39-month funding period.

Alcaraz said the grant will fund about three jobs at the organization in addition to increasing services.

Part of the grant will be put toward greater coordination with Pima County's One Stop program, a collection of services the county offers that helps people learn new work skills and find employment.

"What we talked about with PPP was to improve the linkage with the One Stop program," said Dorothee Harmon of Pima County One Stop.

Harmon said part of the collaboration will include cross-training workers to be able to better serve participants in the programs.

Pima Prevention Partnership provides teens with substance abuse and pregnancy prevention programs and numerous counseling programs, among its services.

Nationwide, the U.S. Labor Department awarded similar grants to 28 communities for a total of $26.6 million.

Pima Prevention Partnership was the only Arizona organization to receive the grant.

Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at pmcnamara@azstarnet.com or 573-4241.