The JFCS Jobs and Enterprise Center at YouthBuild is open for business! The Center will provide employment and business development services in the Smoketown/Shelby Park neighborhood, where over 50% of residents live in poverty and over 20% are unemployed. The Jobs and Enterprise Center is a culmination of several years of working with neighborhood residents and building partnerships with other organizations.
Our initial involvement in the neighborhood began when JFCS Career Services staff worked with the Presbyterian Community Center to help neighborhood youth explore and pursue post-secondary education options. Three years ago, the Navigate Enterprise Center began providing microenterprise development in partnership with Making Connections. JFCS developed a relationship with YouthBuild and began providing career and business development services to YouthBuild participants. When YouthBuild moved to its new location on Preston Street, one of their goals was to create a neighborhood jobs and enterprise center. JFCS was the logical partner in this effort. The JP Morgan Chase Foundation saw the Center as a good fit for its community development investment in the neighborhood, and agreed to fund a pilot project.
Renovations at YouthBuild were completed in June, and this week the JFCS Jobs and Enterprise Center at YouthBuild opened its doors. Initially the Center will be open two afternoons a week and staffed by a JFCS employment specialist and Navigate Enterprise Center business advisor. The Center offers both walk-in hours, and times set aside for individual appointments and workshops. Visitors will be able to get assistance looking for a job, get advice on starting or growing a small business, or attend a workshop to help them prepare for successful career search or learn how to write a business plan. While focused on Smoketown/Shelby Park residents, the Center is open to any low-income individuals who want help finding work or building a small business. We are very excited about this opportunity to collaborate in efforts to revitalize a distressed neighborhood, and look forward to future growth.
For more information, please call Andrea Goins or Dan Heffernan at (502) 452-6341, or visit the YouthBuild website.