ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- [email protected], a program that aims to help people find employment and get out of poverty, is also helping former inmates find employment and take advantage of their second chance.

Former inmates face several hardships when re-entering society, and employment plays an important role in the process. 

Frank Squillace, the director of Network2Work, says that if a person doesn't have employment within a week of being released from jail, the chances of them returning to prison skyrocket.

That's why Piedmont Virginia Community College's program has placed special emphasis on helping those with a criminal record.

“Our goal is to continue to say it doesn't matter if you've served your time, you're willing to become employed and we're here to assist,” said Squillace.

Network2Work works with 400 companies and businesses. Squillace also says the program's three best jobseekers were individuals who had served 35-year sentences 

PVCC also just received a grant from Bank of America that will expand the [email protected] initiative. The grant will span a three-year period and also support the construction of the Woodrow W. Bolick Advanced Technology and Student Success Center.