FreshStart Employment Program

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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? 
  • 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 time requirement is a minimum of six (6) months ago or less (from today)**
  • If you were previously incarcerated/detained in prison and/or county jail for an aggravated offense, the release time requirement is 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

Eligibility Guidelines

FreshStart clients are considered eligible, by meeting all criteria below: The initial step to pre-determine program eligibility is to complete and submit the online pre-eligibility form.

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Considered by pre-eligibility determination
  • Released from incarceration a minimum of "upon release" to six (6) months ago (if applicable)**
  • Have other arrests on criminal background report (without incarceration)**
  • A minimum of 6 months stable housing
  • Have attended or agree to attend workforce development training and/or a  job readiness workshop 
  • Apply via the City of Dallas Employment site for "FreshStart" tagged positions
  • must be coachable and willing to learn
Criminal Background Considerations
  • Misdemeanors Charges – Non-Aggravated - NO Waiting Period**
  • Felony Charges – Non-Aggravated – 6 month Waiting Period **
  • Felony Charges – Aggravated - 2-year minimum Waiting Period **
  • Other Felony Charges – 5-year minimum Waiting Period **
  • Pending cases will not be considered until the case is dissolved
  • Deferred Adjudication allowed

** from the later of either the release from prison/jail or the date of the disposition/conviction of a crime (for eligible charges).

Current Positions (If you are interested in positons other than those listed below, please let us know.)     

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.