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.
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