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A Business that Rebuilds Lives Order by Order

Filed in DOL, Jobs, Secretary Perez By on June 25, 2015

Ever heard of a business that’s not out to make a profit? Ashbury Images, a shirt printing company in San Francisco, seeks to maximize its social impact in the community − not the bottom line.

Last week Secretary Tom Perez visited Ashbury Images to hear about how it is providing paid job training, education support and mentoring to young people who have faced barriers in the past.

An organization called New Door Ventures operates Ashbury Images as a “social enterprise” business, which means profits generated are reinvested into the company so it can continue its mission, and to ensure it remains sustainable and scalable.

“We focus on serving young people who are disconnected from school and work,” New Door Ventures CEO Tess Reynolds said. “The end goal is to help young people create pathways to sustainable lives.”

The Ashbury Images’ job program helps more than 300 young people a year, and more than 90 percent find employment or go back to school after completing the program.

Secretary Perez heard from Jerry, who recently participated in the program and credits it with turning his life around. “I was a lost young man, but people at New Door Ventures really cared about me,” Jerry said.

The employment training and counseling he received put him on a path to a successful adult life. He won a scholarship to attend City College of San Francisco and next year will transfer to Morehouse college to pursue a degree in sociology.

President Obama and Secretary Perez have made it a priority to provide young people like Jerry with the training and job opportunities they need to build on their future. And no matter your age, the Labor Department has resources to help: explore careers, find a job or connect with training today.

Mattie Muñoz Zazueta is the press secretary in the department’s Office of Public Affairs.

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