Mike Henderson, ABC, and Tyrone Ferrens, Project JumpStart, were invited to testify before a congressional subcommittee seeking answers on how to address declining employment among working-age men. Henderson pointed to the chapter’s Project JumpStart, a highly-regarded workforce development program which trains workers for high-paying construction careers.
“We believe there are thousands of men in their 30s and 40s who, given the right opportunity, can still make something out of their lives, gain a career and self-confidence and become contributing members of their community,” Henderson told committee.
Ferrens enrolled in Project JumpStart after 14 arrests, jail time and court-ordered rehab. Ferrens told the committee “it instilled in me something I did not have; a sense of hope. Every tool I needed to succeed was provided, not just physical tools, but a resume, mock interviews, conflict resolution skills, employer expectations and basic knowledge of tools. From any legal hurdle, to transportation issues, to a learning issue, Project JumpStart was there with a solution.”
Today Ferrens is a journeyman electrician and homeowner who has rebuilt his family.