TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A Capital City program is working to keep hundreds of young people from a lifestyle of crime.
Dr. Kimball Thomas, the Youth program manager for the TEMPO Program said "This is a real need dealing with real people. This program was written on their behalf to say 'hey, let's have a conversation, let's have an engagement, let's build relationships and let's invest you back into the civics of this community."
Dr. Kimball Thomas is talking about Tallahassee's TEMPO program which focuses on getting training, jobs or education for teens and young adults who are not working or in school.
"They're subject to indices of crime and domestic abuse," said Dr.Thomas.
Dr. Thomas says there are around seven thousand people who fall under this category in the Capital City and he wants to get them on a path to success.
He cruises around low-income neighborhoods, starting the conversation.
"We say let's talk about your plan, your goal, what would you like to do with your life," said Dr.Thomas.
Dr. Thomas says half of the 400 people currently in the program, committed some type of crime before joining TEMPO and none of them have committed one since getting involved in the program.
He adds, high school dropouts are more likely to be involved with criminal activity.
That's where one local partner comes into play helping participants get their GED, specialty certifications, or workforce training.
"But a lot of them are going into our work-based learning program. So we provide work experience opportunities for youth to learn and get paid on the job, so they can earn while they're learning new skills and get that to lead to permanent employment," said Dan McGrew the General Manager at CareerSource Capital Region.
Dr. Thomas says he hopes to open a center where he can offer services and bring in case managers to help work with participants in the long-term.