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September 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Extra, Feature

Sherman Rutledge

At the GNJ Family Life Center, people come first


Founded more than 12 years ago by Bishop James M. Rogers Sr. of New Jerusalem Baptist Church, GNJ Family Life Center helps people achieve career and personal goals with programs for out-of-school youth ages 16-21, initiatives designed for adult and dislocated workers, and supportive services for veterans.

Supported by Nevada’s Workforce Investment Program, GNJ Family Life Center “is one of the few faith-based agencies that is the driving force for Workforce Connections,” said Sherman Rutledge, the organization’s program director. “It provides very intense services to individuals who are out of a job — with employment services, educational and technical training for out-of-school youth and supportive services for veterans. We provide rental assistance and supportive services to those who qualify, to make them self-sufficient.”

Serving hundreds of clients each year, GNJ Family Life Center’s goal is to put people back to work. According to Rutledge, “Our job is to get our clients employed. Our out-of-school youth are put into training programs and internships to get them back into school, so that they can (qualify for) top job positions in technology and green energy careers.

“We are not targeting low-wage jobs for our youth after their educational training,” Rutledge added. “We are preparing them for employment sustainability. Just because a student drops out of high school does not mean that they have a career death sentence. We encourage the students to get involved in heavy training to prepare for competitive careers. Alicia Thomas is the (chief operating offi cer) of GNJ, and we are working together to enhance the community as a whole.”

For more information about GNJ Family Life Center, visit

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