Small Business Center


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.

Are you ready for a FRESH START? 

  • Were you previously incarcerated and released from prison, state, or county jail? 
  • Do you have non-incarceration charges/arrests on your background that have become a roadblock to full-time 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.

Eligibility Guidelines

FreshStart clients are considered eligible, by meeting all criteria below: The initial step to pre-determine program eligibility. Please send an email to and request the pre-assessment form.

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be considered by pre-eligibility
  • Must be released from incarceration a minimum of "upon release" to six (6) months ago
  • Must apply via the City of Dallas Employment website


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 resolved
  • Active Warrants will not be considered until lifted
  • Deferred Adjudication allowed
  • Probation/Parole allowed

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

      Note: Attending FreshStart events does not guarantee employment, and program eligibility does not guarantee employment