The connections facilitated by the Orlando Economic Partnership have been essential in helping Operation New Hope continue to build community coalitions and partnerships that will support our clients’ reentry needs.

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Amanda Mahan is the Chief Communications Officer at Operation New Hope, a Florida nonprofit that has helped more than 10,000 people over the last 24 years reconnect to the workforce, their families, and our communities after involvement with the criminal justice system. Operation New Hope has been recognized as one of the most experienced and credible organizations in the country that provides reentry services. Their work has been praised by the last four White House Administrations, as well as federal, state, and local representatives, law enforcement officers, and business leaders. The success of their programs is evident in the transformation stories of clients, enhanced hiring practices for employment partners, healthier communities and families, better public safety, and reduced recidivism. The recidivism rate for people who receive Operation New Hope’s services is 1/3 of the State’s overall rate. To meet the needs of the thousands of people who return home every month from Florida’s jails and prisons, Operation New Hope is expanding to build a Statewide Reentry Network and currently has program locations in Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Orlando and Tampa, Florida.

Why did you choose to invest in the Orlando Economic Partnership?

At Operation New Hope, we build stronger communities through strategic partnerships with local businesses, community-based organizations, workforce alliances, educational institutions, and the judicial system. Our team has worked closely with over 400 employers to monitor labor market needs and promote the importance of second chance hiring practices. The connections facilitated by the Orlando Economic Partnership have been essential in helping us continue to build community coalitions and partnerships that will support our clients’ reentry needs.

How does being in the Orlando region contribute to your organization’s success?

Florida has the 3rd largest incarcerated population in the U.S. and 95% of all state prisoners will be released. Therefore, there is a great need for reentry programs like ours. Operation New Hope’s reentry programs provide support, training, and motivation to people impacted by the justice system, reducing recidivism and facilitating successful reintegration. We opened our newest program location in Orlando in September 2022, and our Statewide Reentry Network now serves 5 of the top 7 counties with the highest number of returning citizens.

What are you most excited for that is coming to the Orlando region?

Central Florida’s economy is booming, and we are excited about the growing number of employment opportunities in the region. Our reentry programs provide job skills and workforce development certifications that equip program participants for career pathways in high-growth sectors like Logistics, Construction, Hospitality and Manufacturing. Operation New Hope seeks employment partners that are aligned with these growth sectors, and we look forward to partnering with new employers through recruiting, employee retention, training and more.

Lastly, are there any new and exciting developments in the pipeline for your organization?

The State of Florida trusts Operation New Hope and has invested in our program model since 2006. We are thrilled to announce that we recently received a significant increase in State funding to expand our program delivery and serve more. We will continue to build our Statewide Reentry Network by growing our services currently offered in Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa and opening a new location in Brevard County this fall.


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Contact info:
Amanda Mahan
Home Office – 1830 North Main Street | Jacksonville, FL 32206
Orlando Program – 617 N. Magnolia Avenue | Orlando, FL 32801

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