FSCJ has partnered with the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) and Operation New Hope to help provide non-violent former offenders with the chance to re-enter the local workforce. The Jacksonville Port Academy program is designed to connect JAXPORT employers with potential employees and train participants in the rapidly expanding areas of transportation and logistics.
Operation New Hope has selected FSCJ’s proposed multi-session 40-hour soft skills program for its Ready4Work participants. While traditional FSCJ training programs can take up to 18 months to complete, the Jacksonville Port Academy program designed by the College can be completed in one week. The University of North Florida (UNF) will also provide curriculum.
FSCJ designed this non-credit program based on input from a focus group of 33 port tenants with interest in hiring workers. The focus group revealed the employers’ need for emerging workers to possess more comprehensive soft skills in multiple areas.
The Jacksonville Port Academy held its kickoff event on March 7 and the first participants began receiving in-demand skills training with industry-specific curriculum on March 27. The training sessions are held at Operation New Hope’s church location on Main Street in Downtown Jacksonville. So far, more than 10 companies doing business at JAXPORT have pledged participation in the hiring program.