More than 130 Second Chance participants came to a job Fair at the Pip Moyer Recreation Center on Thursday looking for work, and about one third of them will be hearing from local businesses regarding possible employment.
“When I was introduced to the Second Chance Program, I immediately knew that we needed to provide this opportunity to residents of Annapolis,” Mayor Pantelides said. “Offering employment to individuals with a criminal background gives them a second chance to make a positive impact on our community.”
Some 65 million Americans, or one in four adults, have a criminal record which limits their access to education, jobs, housing, and other necessities that most take for granted.
Mayor Pantelides called on Anne Arundel County’s Workforce Development Corporation Chief Operating Officer Deborah Russell to work with him and create a job fair to help Annapolis residents with a criminal record get that second chance and reenter the workforce.
“Our goal is to take individuals with a criminal background and successfully integrate them back into society by providing economic stability through employment,” Russell said. “Our Re-Entry Program identifies resources and information to remove barriers that would stand in the way of employment.”
The Re-Entry Program assesses skills and abilities, while developing a customized career plan that may include occupational training, internship opportunities and placement. In addition, participants receive essential workplace skill instruction, including working successfully with colleagues, punctuality, dressing for success, all better known as “soft skills.
The Second Chance Hiring Event invited individuals re-entering society to participate and meet with businesses that are committed to hiring the most qualified candidates, despite their backgrounds, and oftentimes are willing to provide training to bring the candidate up to speed on the latest processes or technologies.
Businesses that participated in the Second Chance Hiring Event included:
- City of Annapolis Government
- Jiffy Lube
- Reliable Contracting Company, Inc.
- Cianbro Corporation
- Chaney Enterprises
- Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake, Inc.
- Annapolis Light House
- Anne Arundel Medical Center