PORTLAND A Portland silk screening business is doing more than making T-shirts. It s also helping homeless and at-risk youth become more self-sufficient.

New Avenues INK offers on-the-job career training for youth. Kids can learn all aspects of the business, from hand-printing T-shirts to marketing strategies and graphic design skills.

The project is the latest venture of New Avenues for Youth. It s located at 1445 NW Lovejoy St. in the Pearl District, in a building donated by Key Bank. Nike has donated many of the T-shirts used by the company, a spokesperson said.

The result is they can take the skills, they can have self-determination and self sufficiency, without an agency to support them, said Sean Suib, Executive Director of New Avenues for Youth.

Suib said the money generated from T-shirt sales is used for life-skills training programs for youth participants.

So far, 100 people participate in New Avenues for Youth programs such as this one every year.

To apply, kids must complete a five-week skills training program that includes mock interviews and resume writing.

To learn more about New Avenues INK, click here.

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