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Felony/misdemeanor job fair draws hundreds of jobseekers, few employers

Organizers of Tarrant County’s third annual Felony and/or Misdemeanor Friendly Community Career Fair succeeded in getting more than 700 jobseekers to clear all the necessary hurdles to score invites to the fair. About 400 attended the fair, held Friday at a church at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth.


Getting employers there was another challenge. Ten employers signed up to exhibit at the job fair. Six showed up, representing sales, general labor, highway and other construction, and call center jobs.

Victor Pratt, one of the job fair organizers, said the employers agreed to allow their contact information to be emailed to the jobseekers.


“When we’re in the vein of building esteem and challenging jobseekers to be empowered, I’d qualify it as a success,” Pratt said. “All the guys are wearing neckties. All the women are dressed conservatively.”


With employers, he said, “we didn’t quite close the deal.”


The organizers _ led by the Tarrant County Reentry Initiative _ congratulated the jobseekers on helping further the reentry mission.


“We’re all ambassadors for re-entry,” Angel Ilarraza, coordinator for Reentry Initiative, told the jobseekers before the fair started.


- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram 


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I failed to acknowledge the key attendees. I would like to sincerely thank Commissioner Roy Brooks, Councilwoman Kathleen Hicks and Senator Royce West' aid for their inspiring words and comments.

I also would like to acknowledge the employers that were present, as well as the employers who left their contact information.

This would not have been possible if were not for the hard work of Victor Pratt and Angel Ilarraza, kudos.
Thank you one and all for your support and diligence.


As a job fair attendee, I was very thankful for the opportunities and the amount of employers who were there just to help out people with criminal backgrounds. I had an interview today and again I am very thankful and I wish the many other job seekers god luck on their search!

As a job fair attendee, it is nice to have someone out there in your corner. The job market is tough enough as it is. The fact that you have a background, or in my case had a background, discrimination against myself and others is a shame. We all have something to contribute in society. A lot of people are just caught in a onetime occurrence and are blackballed for at least 5 years.

I think employers need to know that since 9/11, we have now gone from screening people for employment, to discriminating every little detail, which does not necessarily reflect ones true personality. I would personally say it is the most undignifying, embarrassing situation to have to present your dirty laundry to anyone.

I was financially unable to pay for a defense that would have netted me positive results. Therefore, I am just a statistic who is looked down upon. I thank the Lord there are churches and Christian organizations out there willing to understand.

We as a nation need to look at how other countries handle their employment screening. Please understand that just because we may have made a mistake (only 1 person I know has not, GOD) or two, does not qualify us as terrorists. It is about time we (Americans) begin to look into our hearts and exercise a conscious and conscientious decision, not a statistical decision.

Thank you,

I'm very greatful for the employees that did show up for I've been rejuevenated in my very stressful job hunt.wish we could have 2 a year just to give us all hope and encouragement!

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