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Christian groups to launch job-training program

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SELMA — Selma Ministries Association Secretary Kelton Hinton is spearheading a joint effort between the Johnston Baptist Association and Johnston Ministries Association called Jobs for Life that the groups hope will benefit people in poverty in and around Selma.

“A few months ago I ran across a program called ‘Jobs For Life,’ that was a Bible-based, Christian poverty-fighting initiative focused on getting people a good-paying job so they can take care of themselves and their families and break the cycle of poverty and eventually be able to help others as well,” said Hinton.

Hinton said he was especially inspired by the portion of the program that centered on “teaching people to fish” rather than “handing them a fish” and offering “a hand up, not a handout.”

Hinton brought his thoughts to the Selma Ministries Association at its June monthly meeting with the result being a local Jobs for Life initiative slated to launch in August.

The plan is for the program to consist of 16 sessions beginning on Tuesday, Aug. 13 and running through Tuesday Nov. 26. Classes will be held at Johnston Baptist Association at 102 W. Noble St.

Each session will begin with supper at 6 p.m. followed by classes that will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

“We can have up to 10 students participating in the program, including four from Selma and one each from the other towns in the county,” said Hinton. “Each student has to have a mentor and/or champion meet with them.”

Hinton said Jobs for Life is designed for anyone who is unemployed or underemployed and who needs help to find a job or train for a better job.

“We will be working on basic soft job skills including resume-writing, dressing for success, the two-minute elevator speech, mock interviews and networking,” said Hinton. “During the program, students will also be discussing goals and objectives for their lives and it is hoped this will allow them to also help figure out what direction they want their lives to go.”

Hinton said organizers are looking for all types of students, including single moms who are raising children on their own, ex-offenders, military veterans, anyone with mental or physical handicaps and those in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.

“It is the goal of the project to have 100% employment by Christmas,” said Hinton.

For more information, call the Selma Ministries Association at 919-631-0702 or the Johnston Baptist Association at 919-965-9450.

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