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Local business helps former criminals back into job market

Darren Hampton overcame the odds to become a productive member of society. Now he hopes to replicate his success for other former offenders to help them back into a job market that seems stacked against them.

Following his experience in the system and later during his professional career, Mr. Hampton noticed that most people with a criminal record end up becoming repeat offenders instead of finding their way back into the job market.

A New Life, his new business located in the Carriage Lane shopping center, is aiming to change that.

"When I was working with the youth at Your Future, Inc., a lot of the youth had been involved in the system as far as probation or had some kind of record. It was just a little bit harder to put those kids back into society the right way than it was with someone without a record," Mr. Hampton said.

His business cooperates with probation offices, the Georgia Department of Labor, One Stop and other job placement organizations. He gets referrals from those organizations of people who need his expertise. He then provides those individuals with job skills training.

"Everybody needs help, but those people need a little bit more help than others," Mr. Hampton said. "I was trying to devote my time towards people that need second chances."

A New Life started with a handful of clients in January. Mr. Hampton said as of this week he has nearly 50.

There is a basic three-step process he takes his clients through to help them find a job. The first step would be to compile an employment profile which includes finding out the person's skills, probation requirements, interests and areas that may need improvement.

Step two is referred to as getting "job ready." That includes starting on possible higher education requirements such as a GED or college. It also includes instruction on producing a resume and interviews.

The third step is getting into the job market which includes finding the right jobs and interviewing for them. Mr. Hampton said many of his clients feel hampered by society not giving them a chance; he hopes his instruction can set them in the right direction.

"It feels great. It's very rewarding when you see a success story," he said. "If I only help one person out of 100, that's more than enough."

Anyone interested in A New Life's services can contact Mr. Hampton at Suite 17 in Carriage Lane, 706-699-4200, or by email at

Web posted on Thursday, March 9, 2006

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