New Job Training Targets Brownsville Youths With Troubled Pasts

Youth attending a previous Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow training (Photo via OBT)

BROWNSVILLE – A new work training program is giving Brownsville youths hope for a brighter future, despite the histories they have with the justice system.

The initiative is a collaboration between Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow and the Brownsville Community Justice Center. It brings OBT’s signature youth education and job training program to a new group of underserved 18-24 year olds in Brownsville, utilizing grant money from State Senator Jesse Hamilton.

The 8-week workforce training program began today with a group of 20 youths in hopes of building their job skills so they can land direct employment.

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For 3½ hours each week, students of the program will be instructed in creating resumes and writing cover letters, sitting for mock-interviews and learning job-hunting techniques. Additionally, they’ll get lessons on financial literacy and work to obtain a certification from the National Retail Federation.

Brownsville has historically ranked as one of the highest areas for crime in Brooklyn and the new initiative is specifically for those youths who have been previously arrested, incarcerated or otherwise involved in the justice system, said an OBT spokesperson.

By conduction the three-day-per-week training in Brownsville, OBT hopes to reduce transit burdens and reach more youths.

How was day one?

“It went well,” said Frank Mitchell, Director of Justice Programs at OBT. “We were able to tell them about a job opportunity here in the community, so they’re rushing to get their resumes done,”

Mitchell said many of the youths didn’t realize there were employment opportunities in Brownsville outside of local bodegas or supermarkets—especially for applicants with a background

“They’re all just eager to get employed.”

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