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07/13/2010

Felony/misdemeanor job fair working to stay on track

Organizers of Tarrant County’s third annual Felony and/or Misdemeanor-Friendly Community Career Fair are still trying to piece together enough employers for the July 30 fair.

 

Yobfair Right now, as many as seven have signed up to exhibit at the fair, said Victor Pratt, one of the organizers and principal in criminalbackgroundjobhelp.com, a state contractor that helps place people with criminal backgrounds in jobs.

 

The goal: 10.

 

“If we don’t get 10, we’ll postpone it a few weeks,” Pratt said.

 

Organizers will decide Monday whether to go ahead with the job fair on schedule, he said.

 

It’s the same problem the organizers, headed by the Tarrant County Re-Entry Initiative, encountered last year in the middle of the recession. The fair went off as scheduled, with 10 exhibitors and 170 job applicants in attendance.

 

This year, 2,500 people registered to attend the job fair by this summer’s deadline. Pratt said 700 of those cleared the necessary obstacles, including attending a two-hour orientation and completing a number of assignments, and will be invited to attend. The rest didn’t complete the process and won’t be allowed in, Pratt said.

 

The fair’s location will be disclosed on short notice, and only to invitees, Pratt said.

 

Job openings so far including construction, tax preparation, car hops and food servers, mortgage collector, personal care attendant, home health, and telemarketing, Pratt said.

 

Employers who sign up to exhibit agree to accept applicants who have misdemeanor or felony backgrounds, on a case by case basis. Some have formal matrices that set forth the situations in which they’ll employ people with criminal backgrounds.

 

Pratt emphasizes to employers that the job fair gets buy-in from jobseekers it invites. “100 percent have resumes, and 100 percent are professionally dressed,” he said. “You don’t see that at any other job fair.”

 

Pratt also stresses that many of the jobseekers have never been to prison or jail, and agreed to deferred adjucation to discharge their cases if they complete necessary terms. Employers can still sign up at mysecondchance.us

 

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

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I find life an exciting business,The point is succinctness of expression.

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I have posted a ton of videos on Youtube that can help ex-offenders and felons get jobs. Please feel free to view them and leave comments: http://www.youtube.com/user/adogzheart

These people are pre-screened. Except for a few very good liars who lie well enough to fool people used to working with ex-cons, thugs and others who haven't turned their lives around don't get through.

If I were an employer I'd rather have someone who has been through this kind of vetting than someone with no criminal record and the usual 3 character references but no way to know if he's committed misdemeanors or felonies either as a young adult or recently and got lucky and never got caught. Yes, there are people who never got caught and who have turned their lives around as well, but there are those who haven't and represent an unknown and unknowable risk to me, the employer.

Think of it this way: If I hire from the vetted-ex-con pool, I have a very high degree of assurance that the person will respect the law going forward. If I hire from the general population, I don't have that assurance.

This is an excellent apportunity for those who has been "touched" to the criminal justice system..This article is to speak out and say to employers "I need a second change". I am seeking a position with a progressive company where I may showcase my skills which will allow me the opportunity to advance. Offering 10 + years of experience in business, finance, administrative positions, and pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business with a Concentration in Global Business Management with University of Phoenix. But beacuse of a criminal I have I unable to meet my goals, and prove the financial needs to my family...Please support us, and as to we in need of a second chance.....ONCES's again, please support the community....Thank you..

The opportunity to go out to the pre-job fair was priceless. The information shared and the tips, organization, and professionalism was on point. I left there more equipped and ready to deal with future Employers.

I feel we all deserve a second chance to prove that we are not bad people we just made a misrake and we are willing to prove to society and to ourselves that we are not a menace to society.

I hope that this article and the steps everyone is taking is noticed by the employers who are seeking dedicated hard working employees. Never have I seen such a great dedication and desire of people coming together to change their life and situation. I hear so many that say "Why give them a chance, they don't change." This may be true for some but not for all. If you are an employer and read this article and comments, you will find an employee willing to work hard, jump high, and produce success for your company. I am a felon who changed 13 years ago, I struggle to prove I am a good person and worth a second chance. My tribulations have made me a good man, raising good children, and supportive of my community.

I am a first time non-violent felon. Should I even consider myself a citizen of this country anymore? That is a question that I have been forced to ask myself over the past two years of my life. For my crime, I received 2 years of probation and within those two years I had to attend classes and undergo random drug screens and constantly look for employment, but to my prevail nothing came through. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining because that is what was required of me because of the crime I committed, but in a rational world that would be considered "debt paid" but unfortunately, I have come to the harsh reality that your debt is never truly satisfied. Once I got past the legal aspect of "re-paying" my debt, I soon realized that there was a new debt... an un payable debt...the debt of becoming a felon in the first place. I have tried to find employment so that I can continue to be a productive citizen and support my family, but have been unsuccessful, so I have said all of that to say this... This program is a GREAT idea and I hope that more and more people become aware and lend a helping hand by participating and offering second chances to those us that are seeking them.

I wish to say thank you to Mr. Pratt and all those who are making this possible. In this time when finding a job is very hard it is extreemly hard for those who have an unclean background to find work. It is nice to know someone is out there who really cares for us. Who is willing to go the extra mile and help us have a chance at a second chance. Again I thank you

It is very fortunate for many of us excluded from a majority of jobs to have a forum to expose ourselves to employers willing to consider those of us who have backgrounds many employers simply take as unacceptable.

I want to thank Victor Pratt and his associate for the second chance program to the workplace for people who need a second chance. I enjoyed meeting you and learning more about your research and humanity work.

I think this is wonderful news for all of us who are needing a second chance to re-enter the workforce. We are just asking for someone to give us the opportunity to prove ourselves today, 2010. Thank God for people like Victor Pratt and employers like the ones that will make themselves available at the upcoming Re-Entry Initiative Job Fair.

God Bless us everyone.

My conments for the job fair stands as a great opportunity for persons with felonies/misdemeanors. This job fair will give us a chance to show our skills in the work place, to be productive for our families, and to try and give us a chance to re-enter our communities as a positive role model and become an asset to the community. I think the coordinators of the job fair for all of their effort that they have shown for this job fair. I would like to thank them for giving us this chance to prove ourselves.

I cannot count the number of times I have went in for an interview, aced the interview, and have the employer very excited about my experience and the possibility of me coming to work for them, to only have that one question on the application, "do you have a felony?", to ruin everything from that point on. Yes, I made a bad choice but we all make bad choices at some point in our lives and are usually forgiven and given another chance to make things right. Why should employment be any different? We all have to work to survive and to be discriminated for this I feel it is humanly and morally wrong. We all deserve a second chance and especially one of such high importance as this to make it in life. Many thanks go out to the team putting this together and all the employers taking that chance on us. Also, thank you to the Star Telegram for posting this article. Awareness is key!

Unfortunately, there are a lot of good people that make horrible choices in their lives that cause them to be charged with a felony or misdemeanor. It's not that one horrible choice that defines who they are as a person. It's what they do from that point on. This job fair allows those good people to go on with their lives in a positive manor. We need more employers who are able to give us a second chance at life. It's a large and growing labor pool that gives employers an amazing opportunity to gain quality employees.

I am currently on probation , I have never been trouble. I have a felony, I was layed off my job on May 13,2009 I had been on the job since 2001 , I have been unable to get a job. I was going to get hired at First America , i explan what I was on probation for and my crime , i was told it should not be a problem I took the drug test had a start date and then deind. what a great disappointment ,but i want give up I have faith and its coming on July the 30

In the previous comments stated above, employers are missing out on great chance to hire great assets to there companies just because that person has a criminal background. These jobseekers if given the chance will give you more than 110% once hire because they already have something to lose.

As an ex-offender. I would welcome and appreciate the opportunity to reenter and become a productive member of society. I know that I would make a great asset to an employee if given the opportunity.

If you deny work to people whom want to work and simply give give money to people who wouldn't work...then democracy dies! (Thomas Jefferson)

I am a man who was convicted of Felony DUI and rightly paid my debts for my crime but, to deny me myself of work to support my family is simply wrong. Yes, you can play the what if game. I could have done this or that but, my real only real crime was being young, dumb and stupid. And also also killing a tree.

I am a felon who is denied the ability to support my chosen field of training of computer and cell phone repair. I am just trying to take of my family now and what is more important than family and our future?

In America we have a growing pool of un-tapped talent due to past mistakes and it is sad to see fellow Americans ignoring this pool just to simply say the talent isn't here so they have to go outside the USA to find it. Again America loses again.

Let's keep it real people,Race neutral language was incorporated into the new anti-people disenfranchisement laws for it's appeal to old racist sentiments,A language accompanied by A political movement that succeeded in putting the vast majority of blacks in there place with the installation of a new racial caste system without violating the law,all in an effort to insure economic opportunity's for white progeny(who seems largely unaffected by arrest records)
543.000-ex felons in Texas,on community supervision means 543.000 jobs for good white people.The lack of uniformity in the laws and practices of the various states and localities makes it difficult for persons with criminal records to determine where they might be allowed to apply their training and skills,whether they acquired them in or out of prison.the ironic part of this situation is that ex offenders are expected to remain out of prison and in legitimate jobs,but then the government in a act of oppression in violation of the 14th amendment limits the kinds of jobs they can obtain,to the point the few left are no longer available,then,we shake our heads in amazement when ex-offenders find it difficult to acquire and keep societal definitions of "STABLE EMPLOYMENT".I thought if the conviction was not related to the vocation then how do we justify stripping a man of his livelihood without violating his 14th amend rights?.The law is supposed to be based on the constitution which is based on the bible which mandates embrace the wafare,feed the poor,not segregate them like we did black's all throughout this country's history!."POVERTY WILL TURN EVAN A GOOD MAN TO CRIME"

I think this is a good idea because in a situation like mine where i took deferred adjudication, I've had a tough time finding a job. I agree with giving people a second chance and allowing us to feel like we are something in this world. Our dues have been paid, and this program gives us the opportunity to re-enter society successfully.

THIS IS A VERY GOOD OPPORTUNITY FOR THOSE OF US WHO HAVE MADE MISTAKES IN OUR PAST TO WORK HARD,AND CHALLENGE OURSELVES MENTALLY & PHYSICALLY.THESE DAYS IT'S EVEN HARD TO FIND A JOB IF YOU'RE EDUCATED.MOST EMPLOYERS ARE TURNING AWAY PEOPLE WITH CRIMINAL BACKGROUNDS NO MATTER HOW GOOD OF AN EDUCATION YOU HAVE.THIS RE-ENTRY PROGRAM GIVES US HOPE AND OPPORTUNITY FOR A CHANCE TO WALK-IN & TALK TO THESE EMPLOYERS ABOUT OUR SKILLS & THINGS WE CAN OFFER TO THESE COMPANIES WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT BEING SCREENED FOR OUR PAST MISTAKES ...........THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE OUT THERE THAT HAVE NO WAY OF MAKING A LIVING & END UP GOING BACK INTO THE DIRECTION OF TROUBLE. I THINK THAT THERE SHOULD BE MORE PROGRAMS LIKE THIS & THAT WE SHOULD ALL BE GIVEN A SECOND CHANCE...IF THESE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN PUNISHED IN PRISON & COME OUT THINKING ABOUT MAKING A CHANGE & KEEP GETTING TURNED DOWN EVERYWHERE THEY GO.THEY ARE GONNA END UP ON A BENCH SLEEPING OR IN PRISON OR DEAD........

A lot of young men and women are exposed to a lot of negative media and many obstacles and challenges are presented to every individuals life at one time or another some make the mistakes and learn from them other make the mistakes and keep making them, this is an excellent opportunity for all the people who have worked hard on not making the mistakes again and wanting to lead a better life than the one they've lived. I hope employers recognize this as a chance to get strong motivated individuals into their workforce.

Mr. Pratt and his team are doing a remarkable job in attempting to help those who have made past mistakes obtain viable employment. This is one of the key factors in preventing recidivism and helping one to become an upstanding, respectable member of society. Thanks to all of the employers already participating and we need as many more as possible to sign up. This is a great opportunity for employers and candidates alike.

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