Jaquan Bennett with Mayor Martin J. Walsh at his Operation Exit graduation ceremony in July 2018.

If a young person makes mistakes early in life—gets caught up in the wrong crowd, hustles for money, breaks the law—second chances will not be easy to come by. A criminal record can all but eliminate most avenues to family-sustaining employment.

But sometimes second chances just take a three-pronged approach.

Operation Exit, an initiative that trains returning citizens for the building trades, brings together training programs, unions, and employers to create career pathways for young people who are committed to turning their lives around.

A recent Boston Business Journal article highlights how the life of one young man, Jaquan Bennett, was changed forever by the teamwork of youth development organization YOU Boston, Sheet Metal Workers’ Local Union 17, and sheet metal sub-contractor McCusker-Gill, Inc.

“In the Boston market, there’s a desperate need to get more people into the skilled trades. For the city to be able to identify people looking for a steady career with honest pay that gets them on a path toward a better future, you’re really kind of creating the perfect marriage.”
– Kevin Gill, Jr., vice president of McCusker-Gill, Inc.

Read the article from the Boston Business Journal.

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