RUSK, TX (KTRE) - Finding a job can be difficult for those down on their luck.
Jobs For Life, an international faith-based program that teaches adults with troubled pasts job skills, has several locations in East Texas.
"Students have been people with a history like jail or drug abuse, or sometimes, it's just a mother who has been raising children that doesn't have any job experience," explained Jobs For Life instructor Kim Beathard.
Tree of Promise, a Christian center in Rusk, saw a need in their community for job training for individuals in need. The decided to open a Jobs For Life program for Cherokee County.
"I really needed this program because at the time, I had gotten out of a rehab center," said Jobs For Life graduate Heath Cox. "I was kind of stuck in a rut."
Jobs For Life teaches their students a variety of skills like computer basics, resume writing, and how to interview. However, students also learn something special that's not usually taught in a traditional classroom.
"We also teach them how to face your past and to look for the future," Beathard said.
They bring in guest speakers from the community to share their testimonies, which is where Cox met his future employer.
"He had suffered some of the same things I had to deal with and definitely showed me it's not impossible to make a comeback," Cox said.
All of the Cherokee County graduates of Jobs For Life are now gainfully employed or in college pursuing degrees. They hope others can follow in their footsteps.
"Don't give up," Cox said. "It's not as hopeless as you think."
Beathard encourages other East Texas ministries to look into starting a Job For Life program for their communities.
"It is a commitment, but it is worth it," Beathard explained.