Small Business Center

FreshStart Employment Program

The FreshStart Employment Program is intended to serve with integrity, empathy, ethics, excellence, equity. 

Our mission is to interrupt the reoccurrence of recidivism. 

Our primary goal is to advocate for individuals returning to their communities from incarceration or with non-incarceration infractions that produce barriers to stable or full-time employment. 

In collaboration with community partners and advocates, the FreshStart Employment Program will ensure participants are supported in coordinated programs and training (case management, budgeting skills, job skills training and soft skills, etc.), including housing, and other comprehensive services. 

FreshStart Employment Staff: will work with multiple City departments to create an inventory of City job opportunities available exclusively for FreshStart Employment clients. This curated list includes, a varied set of opportunities, tailored to different skills, interests and abilities, and generally includes entry level positions with career growth potential. FreshStart Employment also supports the client throughout the application and interview process, before the process handoff to Human Resources for new hire onboarding. To prevent background checks from becoming a barrier, the City of Dallas has adjusted its background check process for FreshStart Employment clients, who have completed all eligibility, readiness and training requirements. 

FreshStart Employment Support Services: In addition to providing job readiness and training sessions, EMS will provide regular check-ins with clients for the six months of employment. This service will provide emotional support, practical advice and help solve for any issues that may arise on the job. This is also an opportunity for clients to receive advice on dealing with potential personality disputes, handling supervisor feedback and criticism and otherwise navigating the social environment of their new professional life. 

Note: The FreshStart Employment Program offers Second-Chance employment opportunities for individuals that have been impacted by the criminal justice system. Only applicants who meet that criteria, will be considered.