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State Officials Announce Phase 3 Of Operation Rio Grande

Visit Salt Lake
Visit Salt Lake

The Department of Workforce Services, Utah Lt. Gov Spencer Cox and president of the Utah Jazz announced phase 3 of Operation Rio Grande, an initiative aiming to help Salt Lake City’s homeless community receive jobs and workforce skills.


Citizens affected by Operation Rio Grande are being placed into three categories: those still struggling with drug abuse or severe mental health problems who are not ready to work, those who are actively recovering and almost ready to work, and those who are now eligible for jobs.


Steve Starks, president of the Utah Jazz and a member of this initiative, said businesses around the state will provide job training and work one-on-one with homeless individuals to help them improve their lives.


“We’re going to invite the business community to come and be our partners through this process. If they have work that they can partner with homeless individuals that have shown the initiative that they want to help, we can use that.”


Starting in December, homeless individuals will be invited to morning devotionals, which will include various religious lessons, as well as work trainings and secular inspirational messages.


“Just something to give them hope. Perhaps to create a spark that they want to go and achieve more and do something they haven’t done,” Starks said. “If you’ve come to workshops and you’ve participated and expressed interest, then we can start to graduate these people through more and more responsibilities.”