Small Business Center

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Note: This program offers 2nd Chance employment opportunities for individuals that have been impacted by the criminal justice system. Only applicants who meet that criteria, will be considered for FreshStart positions.

Are you ready for a FRESH START?

  • Were you previously incarcerated and released from prison or county jail 1 (one) year ago or longer? 
  • Do you have charges/arrests on your background that has become a roadblock to fulltime and/or stable employment?

If so, we may have an opportunity for you!

The Small Business Center -  FreshStart Employment Program, is aimed at ensuring that current, unemployed, underemployed, seasonally employed and temporarily employed individuals with criminal backgrounds, have the opportunity to obtain full-time employment within the City of Dallas and receive the support needed to maintain and thrive in the workforce. 

FreshStart relies on a combination of internal programs and local community-based organizations to refer eligible clients, and to help potential clients gain the stability and skills needed to become successful employees. The FreshStart staff will work with City departments to help place clients in full-time positions with opportunities for growth.


  • If you were previously incarcerated/detained in prison and/or county jail for a non-aggravated offense, the release date must be a minimum of six (6) months ago (from today)
  • If you were previously incarcerated/detained in prison and/or county jail for an aggravated offense, the release date must be a minimum of two (2) years ago (from today)
  • The release date is indicative to anyone who was detained in prison and/or county jail
  • Other arrests or offenses on your background report will be assessed accordingly on a case by case basis

Other Convictions

Other Felony Charges5-year minimum waiting period (from today).

Eligibility Guidelines

FreshStart clients are considered eligible, by meeting all criteria below:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Considered by referral (click here to submit the referral form)
    • consideration will be given only to  those meeting all eligibility guidelines. Please review prior to completing the referral form
  • Submit application(s) via the City of Dallas Employment site for program targeted positions
  • Released from incarceration a minimum of six (6) months ago for non-aggravated offenses
  • Released from incarceration for a minimum of two (2) years for aggravated offenses
  • Have other arrests on criminal background report (without incarceration)
  • A minimum of 6 months stable housing
  • Have attended or agree to attend a job training or job readiness workshop. To include, but not limited to:
    • City of Dallas Values of Services
    • Making a Good First Impression
    • Soft Skills
      • Resume writing and interview skills
      • Completing employment applications
      • Mock interviews
      • Financial literacy
    • Building a positive work ethic (Integrity, Respect, Trust)
    • Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging
    • Being a Team Player
    • Time Management and Accountability
    • Goal Setting
    • Managing Emotions


311 Customer Service Agent Trainee (Management Services)

Utilities Maintenance Worker I (Dallas Water Utilities)

Utilities Maintenance Worker II (Dallas Water Utilities)

Crew Leader (Parks and Recreation)

Maintenance Worker I (Parks and Recreation)

Maintenance Worker II (Parks and Recreation)

For information regarding our positions and/or program eligibility requirements, please email


 Note: Attending FreshStart events does not guarantee employment.