Want to lean more about Operation New Hope’s Ready4Work program? Please call us at 904.425.6002 or click here.

Ready4Work is a nationally recognized program assisting ex-offenders with re-entry into the community and workforce, effectively leading clients toward a productive life. Operating with a four-pronged approach; case management, life-coaching, job 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 Mayor John Peyton, Sheriff John Rutherford, Sheriff Nat Glover and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao. Clients are ex-offenders having not committed violent or sexual crimes, and must undergo a complete background screening prior to acceptance into the program. Upon acceptance, participants are required to attend a comprehensive 4-6 week career development training course, featuring employment and life-skills.  Additionally, participants are partnered with a case manager to provide guidance and support, as well as referrals for community assistance, life-coaching and follow-up drug screening.

Become a Ready4Work Client

Mistakes are often costly and painful; however, no mistake is too great to overcome. If you want to give yourself a better life and are ready to make a lasting change, Ready4Work can help. Recognized nationally, Ready4Work is a program within Operation New Hope providing ex-offenders with the skills and support necessary to re-enter the community workforce as a productive and responsible citizen. The program provides case management, employment skills training, life coaching and job placement, and works with other local organizations to provide support for barriers that may keep you from gaining employment or enjoying a stable life.


  • 18 years-of-age and over
  • On DOC probation or recently charged/released/arrested (within the last year) from a DOC facility
  • Charge is non-violent or non-sexual
  • Resident of Duval, Clay, St. Johns or Nassau County


  • Qualified applicants are asked to provide the following information prior to enrollement;  Valid government issued I.D. or Driver’s license, Social Security number, printed copy of background check, and proof of most recent education level (if possible)
  • Actively participate in all applicable program requirements (Career Development Course, Case Managment, Life Coaching, Job Coaching/Follow-up)
  • Pass initial and random drug screenings for length of program


  • JTA bus pass to attend Ready4Work classes
  • Professional job interview attire
  • Certificate of completion

Become a Ready4Work Business Partner

Nationally, nearly 70 percent of offenders released from incarceration will re-enter the prison system within three years. However, Ready4Work, Jacksonville’s most highly recognized re-entry assistance program, has a recidivism rate of less than 15 percent. Recidivism is often related to an ex-offender’s ability to access employment within the community. Clients in the Ready4Work program are non-violent/non-sexual ex-offenders, are thoroughly vetted and continually screened for illegal drug use. Also, they engage in a 4-6 week Career Development Training course, preparing them for interviews and providing them with a workforce skill set. Additionally, Ready4Work follows each client for one year, providing them with a case manager, job coach and often a life coach for their continued support. Since 2003, Ready4Work has partnered with more than 300 businesses in Jacksonville and the surrounding area, and has successfully placed in the workforce more than 1,500 ex-offenders. The success of the program is measured not only by the number of individuals placed with employers, but with their retention with employers and the feedback we receive. The program has a 70 percent retention rate within the first year of a client’s employment, far exceeding standard retention rates. Employers often report experiences with participants as positive, citing their high-motivation and excellent training.

If you are interested in becoming a business partner with Operation New Hope’s Ready4Work program, please call a Ready4Work Account Executive at 904.425.6002 or click here.

  • National Recidivism Rate 70%
  • Ready4Work Recidivism Rate 15%
  • Ready4Work Retention Rate 70%

Hiring an ex-offender, for many employers, is often seen as a risk and we at Operation New Hope understand an employer’s reluctance and perspective. We have created a program that addresses the problems, concerns and expectations surrounding employing ex-offenders.

Our industry portfolio continues to expand and we are highly committed to satisfying requests of our business partners, as well as providing accountability to and for our participants. Job coaches will conduct site visits for the first year and are available at any time. Business partners are provided with Free Federal Bonding and are eligible for a $2,400 Work Opportunity Tax Credit, per employee.
EMPLOYERS: 12 Ways to Earn Income Tax Credits for Your Company Use of the WOTC has substantially increased in recent years as Congress has introduced new target groups, expanded several target groups’ requirements, increased the tax credit for certain groups and introduced new flexible filing provisions. For example, during Fiscal Year 2008, over 691,421 certifications were issued by the state workforce agencies, and this figure is growing every year. On February 17, 2009, the President signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). The Recovery Act introduced two new target groups… read more, download the following PDFs: Work Opportunity Tax Credit Fact Sheet Work Opportunity Tax Credit Brochure
Since 1966, The Federal Bonding Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, has been successful as a unique job placement tool for at-risk job applicants. The program’s fidelity bonds provide insurance guaranteeing job honesty and serve as an effective employer incentive for hiring hard-to-place job seekers. Hard-to-place job seekers include ex-offenders, welfare recipients, individuals with a history of substance abuse, individuals who have been dishonorably discharged, disadvantaged youth and others with barriers to employment. This program is offered at no cost to the job applicant or the employer. This tool has been effective in improving job placement services.

Bonds will only be issued when the employer confirms that the job seeker will be hired.

Bonds are issued instantly to be in effect the day that the applicant is scheduled to start work; the bonds are self-terminating (no termination paperwork needed), and the employer does not sign any papers in order to receive the bond free of charge The bond insurance issued ranges from $5,000 to $25,000 in coverage for a 6-month period with no deductible amount (employer gets 100% insurance coverage). When this bond coverage expires, continued bond coverage can be purchased from TRAVELERS by the employer if the worker demonstrated job honesty under coverage provided by The Federal Bonding Program. The Federal Bonding Program is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Labor and The McLaughlin Company, as an agent for Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America; referred to hereafter as TRAVELERS. More information about the Federal Bonding Program

Ready4Work participants are highly motivated individuals, consistently receiving high performance marks from employers, and enjoy higher than average job retention. Ready4Work provides strong candidate/employment pairings using thorough employment skills analysis to identify attributes associated with each employer and each job’s components, as well as identify each individual’s ability to perform in the workforce. Ready4Work participants are provided a variance of continued support (educational, financial, counseling, and legal) affording each individual the opportunity to grow their skill set and enhance their coping mechanisms. The Ready4Work program reduces hiring expenditures for employers through:

  • Elimination of time/expense associated with recruitment (advertisement, candidate interviews, reference screening, drug testing)
  • Working within employer’s hiring guidelines/qualifications for timely placement
  • Replacement for underperforming employees

Ready4Work employment partners are eligible to receive an IRS Work Opportunity Tax Credit, reducing employee payroll expenditures. Ready4Work impacts the community:

  • Improving the local tax base, opposed to its depletion
  • Providing a socially/economically viable solution to incarceration
  • As a proven crime prevention mechanism, strengthening the social fabric of the community

Become a Life Coach

If you are interested in learning more about Operation New Hope Ready4Work’s Life Coaching program or wish to become a life coach, please contact our Life Coach Coordinator at 904.425.6002 or click here.

The role of a life coach is that of a confidant, counselor and champion.  A life coach helps build confidence and instill personal accountability/responsibility in people, as well as helps establish boundaries for those seeking assistance. Essentially, a life coach stands as a “role model for life.” Ready4Work’s Life Coaching program is intended to equip its life coaches with the skills required to support ex-offenders’ reentry efforts.  Ensuring support and success for clients, a life coach works in concert with the Life Coach Coordinator, as well as other Ready4Work staff.
  • 21 years of age
  • No felony conviction (within last year)
  • Not actively on probation/parole
  • Complete one 4-hour training class
  • One year commitment
  • Submit to background check
  • History of mentorship
  • Ready4Work mentor program/program partners
  • Communication skills
  • Common behavioral characteristics
  • Concepts & practices of mentoring
  • Qualities a good mentor
  • Program rules
  • Working through challenging situations

Replicate Ready4Work

Ready4Work is the most nationally recognized ex-offender reentry program praised by three consecutive U.S. Presidents. Our program saves tax payers money by effectively transitioning clients into the workforce while producing dramatically reduced recidivism rates. Using our unique tools, we increase gainful employment and decrease criminal activity aiding to revitalize neighborhoods. In short, we rebuild lives, restore communities and renew hope. The effects of incarceration and recidivism can be seen in every town in America and across the world…Ready4Work can help. Since inception, Operation New Hope has invested millions of dollars toward building and improving the Ready4Work program. By learning from both our struggles and successes, we have been able to build a program that can be replicated in other communities.

Operation New Hope is ready to assist you in determining how to effectively plan, launch and sustain an effective reentry program in your area.  If you are interested in learning more, please call us at 904.425.6002 or click here.

For frequently asked questions click here.