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New program aims to help adjudicated youth get jobs this summer

It can be tough for a young person to find a job, especially if he or she has had a brush with the law. FreshMinistries and Career Source Northeast Florida are partnering with the Department of Juvenile Justice to open doors for adjudicated youth and get them into paid employment within the next few weeks.

The program is open free of charge to Duval County youth ages 17-19 who are under supervision of the Juvenile Justice System in out-of-home placement, on probation or parole. They cannot have been convicted of a crime as an adult.

“We will provide training for these young people and then take steps to make sure they are employed for six-week internships with local companies,” said Michelle Hughes, director of urban initiatives for FreshMinistries.

The program seeks up to 100 young people to begin job-readiness training immediately, with job placement to begin before the end of August.

FreshMinistries is also seeking employer partners for the program who are willing to hire students for six weeks; there is no cost to the employer. Thanks to funding from CareerSource Northeast Florida, FreshMinistries will cover the hourly minimum wage for each employee in the program.

FreshMinistries, Inc., a Jacksonville-based non-profit, launched its Fresh Path program in January, targeting court-involved individuals ages 14-24. This additional program is specifically for ages 17-19, and participants are eligible to take part in the year-round Fresh Path program if they choose. Successful completion of the program may result in expungement of records for eligible participants.

To enroll, call Debbie McClendon at FreshMinistries at (904) 854-6770, ext. 3.

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