Ready4Work-Hillsborough, operated by Abe Brown Ministries, is a replication of the national Ready4Work program. Utilizing a four-pronged approach encompassing case management, life-coaching, employability training and job placement assistance, Ready4Work motivates and moves individuals to become productive, responsible citizens within the community. Commitments and strategic partnerships with faith-based organizations, local businesses, community outlets and the judicial system assist to ensure individuals transition successfully back into the community.
In 2003, President George W. Bush selected Operation New Hope as the pilot site for the Ready4Work program. Applauded by President Bill Clinton in his book, “Giving,” and endorsed by President Barack Obama, Ready4Work is considered by many to be a model program for the nation. Other supporters include current and former City of Jacksonville leaders including Mayor John Peyton, Sheriff John Rutherford and Sheriff Nat Glover as well as former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.
Clients are ex-offenders who are not habitual violent offenders, do not have any sexual offenses, and must undergo a complete background screening prior to acceptance into the program. Upon acceptance, participants are required to attend a comprehensive 4-to-6 week career development training course, featuring employment and life-skills. Additionally, participants are paired with a case manager who provides guidance and support, as well as referrals for community assistance, life-coaching and follow-up drug screening.