Jobs for Life


Helping Inner-City Residents Find, Keep and Excel at a Job

Through the Jobs for Life program in Chattanooga, TN, inner-city residents can escape chronic joblessness, recurring poverty and lifelong hopelessness.

Jobs for Life gives its participants the tools and support necessary to excel at a career, building a more stable life and community. Many of the program’s participants are considered to be in the category of “hardest to serve,” with a wide diversity in unstable situations, including homelessness, histories of substance abuse, and criminal records.

Jobs for Life graduates overcome many of the obstacles that typically impede success, and they quickly flourish as stable members of their communities, forming the bedrock for future neighborhood transformation. 

How It Works

How It Works

Jobs for Life is a ten-week, soft skills job training class that lifts our neediest neighbors from dependency to self-sufficiency. Our graduates become model employees at many local businesses.

The program inspires, guides, and equips participants as they prepare to find and keep steady employment. The program is unique in that it does these things in an atmosphere that builds relationships and community; Hope for the Inner City firmly believes that real and lasting change can only come through caring Christian relationships.

Included in Jobs for Life is the Faith and Finances curriculum, GED training and testing, and a computer literacy class to aid participants in their job searches.

Each Jobs for Life student is matched with a champion, a mentor or group of mentors, who provides the student with support through the class and their first year of employment. Local business partners serve as visiting speakers; volunteer mentors help to lead small group discussions; and counselors help students overcome emotional roadblocks. Together, these volunteers and partners form the backbone of Jobs for Life’s success.

Curriculum & Schedule

The Jobs for Life curriculum is an engaging ten-week journey that can help Chattanooga’s inner-city residents find, keep and excel at a job. It combines work-readiness training and biblical principles under the guidance of dedicated Christian mentors.

Week One

  • Orientation

Week Two

  • Let’s Get Started
  • Why Should I Take This Journey?

Week Three

  • What Do I Bring To The Journey and What Do I Still Need?
  • Who is Driving?

Week Four

  • How Do I Plan My Journey? (Vocational Planning)
  • How Do I Find My Destination? (Job Search)

Week Five

  • What Can I Expect When I Reach My Destination? (Work Environment)
  • What Are The Physical Roadblocks Along the Journey?

Week Six

  • What Are The Emotional Roadblocks Along the Journey?
  • What Do I Need On the Journey? (Part 1)

Week Seven

  • What Do I Need On the Journey? (Part 2)
  • How Do I Ask For Directions? (Interview Practice)

Week Eight

  • How Do I Know I Am Going In The Right Direction?
  • What Happens If I Make the Wrong Turn?

Week Nine

  • How Do I Stay On The Journey? (Part 1)
  • How Do I Stay On The Journey? (Part 2)

Week Ten

  • Review and Graduation
  • Support team will be responsible for graduation ceremony

Support Services

To help our Jobs for Life participants be successful, Hope for the Inner City offers an array of support services in addition to the Jobs for Life curriculum.

  • Faith & Finances: This biblically based curriculum is designed for financially vulnerable adults with little or no previous financial training. The typical participant has personal debt, does not have an emergency fund, does not live within a budget, and has a net worth near or below zero. The curriculum is written so that non-Christians and mature believers are drawn into further relationship with Christ and gain biblically motivated skills, knowledge and attitudes related to good financial stewardship.
  • Individual Development Accounts: With an IDA, Faith & Finances graduates receive a $2 matching grant for every $1 they deposit into their ac- counts. Savings are used to purchase a car or house, start a small business or further their education. The program, designed by the Chalmers Center for Economic Development, helps each participant increase his net worth through good habits of saving and asset building.
  • Hope Staffing: Hope Staffing serves the staffing needs of local business partners that need short-term employees. From our management position, we are able to evaluate workers and help them grow, while also responding quickly and effectively to the needs of our business clients.
  • GED Preparation: Passing the GED opens the door to more employment opportunities, education and higher wages. Under a partnership with Chattanooga State Community College, a GED preparation class meets five times a week. Tutors provide individual focus on problem areas so that they can confidently pass the GED test.


Are you feeling hopeless without a decent paying job? Jobs for Life offers you the chance to escape chronic unemployment and feelings of hopelessness. Through Jobs for Life you can develop interview skills, open a savings account, earn a GED diploma, and find a decent paying job. The application process is simple:

  • Application: Applicant fills out and submits an application.
  • Interview: Applicant is interviewed and evaluated to develop a Life Plan.
  • Life Plan: Program participants are selected, and the Life Plan and goals are established. $10 book fee is paid.
  • Attendance: Program lasts for 10 weeks (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday evenings, 6 to 8 p.m.).

Apply Now


(423) 698-3178