Elevating The Dignity of Work

2018 Jobs for Life Annual Report

Jobs for Life is not a typical job-readiness program where you receive content and a promise of a job and you’re on your way. It is a lifelong commitment to walk along side our brothers and sisters who have been beat down by generational curses, trauma, and societal issues.”


– Lequvia, JfL Trained Leader

>> Read Lequvia’s story


Photo:  Participants in the 2018 National staff-led Jobs for Life class (Raleigh, NC), in partnership with Wake County Social & Economic Vitality (Click to learn more about this class and its impact >>)  

         2018 Stats & Impact

JfL classes hosted

(by 185 different community organizations and ministries)

Ministries and community organizations supported and coached

Jobseekers served


Leaders trained

(through live training events and webinars)

Volunteers participated

Volunteer hours contributed

Business involved


Countries hosted JfL classes

(U.S., Guatemala, Italy)


of JfL sites felt well-equipped and supported to run their class (vs 87% in 2017)


of JfL students reported having high employment barriers when entering the class


of JfL graduates obtained employment at the end of the class (of those seeking employment)

Message from President & CEO, Ryan Ray

For the past 22 years, Jobs for Life (JfL) has focused on serving individuals seeking meaningful work. During this time, we’ve seen an incredible outpouring of support and commitment—community and business leaders have opened up access to resources, sharing their expertise, time, and networks; churches and nonprofits all over the world have hosted JfL classes and have helped to propel this work forward in their communities; 40,000 men and women have been served through JfL classes in 266 cities across 43 states and throughout 8 countries.

This tells us that our mission of preparing individuals for meaningful work is necessary in all communities, and that people are willing to step into the margins with their neighbors and empower them to not just survive, but to thrive. We give thanks for all the incredible support, encouragement, and leadership from the JfL network of ministries, communities, businesses and leaders around the world—we could not do this work without you!

Jobs for Life is teaching me how to write down my goals and use timelines to achieve them, instead of just dreaming about it. I’ve let God in more, and I’m learning how to communicate better with my husband, kids, and other people. I needed to do this for me and my family.


– Cheyenne, JfL Graduate (Hope House Ministries – Bowling Green, KY)

>> Read Cheyenne’s Story


New Leadership

In August 2018, I had the honor of becoming the new President and CEO of JfL. I had followed the progress and highlights of JfL for a few years, and was excited to begin leading the organization into its new chapter. Soon after starting my new role, I sat down with one of JfL’s National Board Directors, Ken Jenkins, and shared about my background and experience, why I felt called to lead this ministry, and the solutions I believe JfL can offer our communities and nation.

>> Watch the video interview with Ryan

We also welcomed a new Board Chair, Scott Steele, who brings 20 years of international and domestic ministry experience to JfL. Leadership is key in setting the tone and vision for any organization, and this was one of our main priorities for 2018. 

Connecting to JfL’s Roots

When I joined the team, my first order of business was to learn about JfL’s roots and history. I met Pastor Donald McCoy, one of the co-founders of Jobs for Life. I learned about the relationship he developed with a local business owner, Chris Mangum, and discovered that the foundation of Jobs for Life was built on relationships and a community of people, businesses, and ministries sharing their resources and a commitment to helping their neighbors flourish. That legacy lives on in our work.

Above photo: Ryan Ray (left) visits with the co-founder of Jobs for Life, Pastor Donald McCoy (right)

The same month I stepped into my new role, our team hosted a JfL class in downtown Raleigh, NC. This class allowed JfL staff to walk in the shoes of the leaders we equip and support, further evaluate our program implementation model, and discover ways to improve upon it. You can learn more about this class and the lessons we learned by visiting www.createdtowork.com.

Value For Many

I also met with our incredible stakeholders—site leaders, volunteers, graduates, investors, and business partners. I quickly learned that the JfL curriculum is one of our greatest strengths. In classes, participants learn spiritual and practical employment principles that resonate with a broader audience. This puts us in a unique position to leverage the curriculum principles to raise the awareness of “the dignity of work” and connect many more people to JfL’s mission.

I also discovered that in a marketplace where the unemployment rate is low, businesses still struggle with finding and retaining quality, character-driven employees. Jobs for Life offers value—not only to unemployed and underemployed individuals, but also to companies looking for solutions to their employment needs.

“It was such an honor to participate in Jobs for Life by conducting mock interviews. I found the participants to be very well prepared.  JfL definitely hits the mark on what employers are looking for in candidates!”


– Grace, JfL Business Partner (Raleigh, NC)


>> See more stories and videos from this 2018 JfL Class 

Committed Investors

We ended 2018 on a challenging, but encouraging note. We were unable to reach our fundraising goal due to our transition of leadership and development personnel (you will see the impact this has had on our overall revenue totals in our audited financial statements below). However, our average donation given increased by 14%. Committed investors stepped up to give more because of their strong connection and belief in the JfL mission. We also began to replenish our cash reserves and started 2019 with positive cash flow. We are tremendously grateful for all of our investors who have given, past and present.

2018 Financial Report:

Total Support & Revenues:


  • Contributions: $611,602
  • Sales of Training Materials: $71,624
  • Interest and Other: $72,473

Total Expenses:

  • Total Program Services: $524,606
  • Total Supporting Services: $238,294

Total Assets:

2017 Financial Report:

Total Support & Revenues:


  • Contributions: $1,027,258
  • Sales of Training Materials: $66,977
  • Interest and Other: $48,284

Total Expenses: 

  • Total Program Services: $891,173
  • Total Supporting Services: $323,718

Total Assets:

A Changing Marketplace

The marketplace is changing and will continue to evolve. Now in our 23rd year, we recognize our need to respond to these changes. The Board of Directors has charged me and the JfL team to continue to listen and learn from our network of leaders and stakeholders so that we can build a sustainable organization addressing joblessness in this ever-changing market. Given this initiative, I have coined this year “a season of exploration.” Our 2019 strategic plan is focused on taking an intentional approach to better understanding the job market landscape and challenges that business leaders face, and testing innovative ways to break down barriers keeping unemployed and underemployed men and women from working. We’re eager to see what this process reveals, and how it may help us evolve and expand the approach to our work. Even in the midst of this new season however, our vision remains the same: to see all people flourishing in their work and relationships.

When we consider the tremendous impact of our 22-year history, the varying needs of the marketplace today, and the value that Jobs for Life is positioned to offer, we’re excited to lead the conversation on “the dignity of work” and help leaders and job-seekers alike navigate the future world of work. Our platform and model positions us to continue raising awareness and facilitating relationships that restore dignity, change lives, and transform communities.


“I’m so grateful to be part of a team that prioritizes creating connection points so that folks can be empowered toward self sufficiency. Seeing people take steps to transforming their lives into a new way of living is really special.”

– Volunteer in Jesus Was Homeless’s 2018 JfL Class (Branson, MO)

Photo: The 2018 National Staff-led Jobs for Life class (Raleigh, NC) gathers to pray before their first class.

>> See more videos and stories from this class

Help make real, lasting change in your community!

We depend on supporters like you to help us continue the mission of preparing individuals for meaningful work. From leading and volunteering in a JfL class to investing resources and hiring JfL graduates, each level of involvement is crucial in our mission to help more men and women find and keep employment.





JfL National Board:

Scott Steele, Board Chair
Executive Director, Cherokee Gives Back
(Raleigh, NC)

Stephanie Tarant
Founder, Global Talent Consulting
(Raleigh, NC)

Paul Green
Executive Director, Hope for the Inner City
(Chattanooga, TN)

Ken Jenkins
Pastor, Refuge and Restoration Church
(Florissant, MO)

Austin Koon
Managing Partner, Davis Moore Capital
(Raleigh, NC)

David Spickard
CEO & Founder, Spickard Consulting
(Raleigh, NC)

Ryan Ray
President & CEO, Jobs for Life
(Raleigh, NC)

JfL National Staff:

Ryan Ray
President & CEO

LaToya King
Director of Operations

Daniel Alexander
Interim CEO

John Ring
Charleston Area Director

Rhonda Feliciano
Tampa Area Director

Shay Bethea
Director of Training & Leadership Development

Jessie Hathcock
Business Relations Manager

Alex Ford
Manager of Marketing & Communications

Susan Harrison
Administrative Assistant

“THANK YOU to Jobs for Life and my new community and friends! You have helped me ace my job interviews, land better pay, and have great confidence! Job interviews that have all begun by saying, “you won’t have an answer for at least a couple days,“ to the end of interviews being HIRED ON SPOT! I’m beyond thankful to you and all my family and friends who stand next to me, giving me the best confidence a person can have!”

Photo: 2018 Jobs for Life class at Hope House Ministries (Bowling Green, KY)