Jacksonville, Fla. – Saturday, March 9, during its annual Black & White Ball, the Jacksonville Regional Office of Catholic Charities honored Florida Blue and Fanatics with its Diamond Award for significant contributions to Catholic Charities’ Workforce Development program.

The program was created in 2012 after statistics showed that more than 70 percent of the people reaching out to Catholic Charities for financial assistance were also searching for gainful employment. Since the program began, more than 1,500 unemployed or underemployed adults have received Workforce Development services – including resume and cover letter writing, interviewing and presentation skills, dressing for success, and more – setting them on the path to self-sufficiency.

“We are so thankful for our community partners,” said Lauren Hopkins, director of Catholic Charities Jacksonville.

“With the help of organizations such as Florida Blue and Fanatics, many individuals and families no longer wonder how they will successfully support themselves and their families. We couldn’t be happier to present these awards to companies that are transforming lives.”

Kristi Aiello, regional market development director, accepted the award on behalf of Florida Blue, and Gordon Thomas, vice president of recruiting for Fanatics accepted the award on behalf of its CEO, Doug Mack.

Many Catholic Charities’ Workforce Development clients also receive bus passes to help them with transportation, professional workplace attire and food. Once they complete a readiness class, clients also attend weekly job-hunt meetings and receive help applying for jobs.

For more information about Catholic Charities Jacksonville and its Workforce Development program, please visit www.ccbjax.org.