U.S. Attorney’s Office Partners for Second Chance Job Fair
Contact Person: Beth Drake (803) 929-3000
Florence, South Carolina----On Tuesday, September 27, 2016, the South Carolina U.S. Attorney’s office joined with S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, S.C. Vocational Rehabilitation, S.C. Probation, Pardon and Parole and the U.S. Probation office, as well as other state and federal partners, to sponsor a Re-Entry Job and Resource Fair for individuals with criminal records. This is the first in a slate of four planned re-entry fairs intended to support South Carolinians with criminal records in their efforts to gain employment.
The Re-entry Job and Resource Fair was held at the Florence South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Center. The fair featured a variety of employers from various industries, including hospitality, construction, food service, manufacturing, and staffing agencies. The job fair also featured two workshops: Interviewing Skills/ Resumes and the Expungement/ Pardons Process. In addition to the job fair, multiple resource providers and local colleges presented information on their respective organizations, including continuing education and the GED program. More than 300 job-seekers from the community attended the fair.
In addition to the job seekers making application for jobs, employers were also informed about the federal bonding program and the tax benefits associated with hiring a person with a criminal record. The Federal Bonding program provides Fidelity Bonds for “at risk” employees, at no cost to the employer for the first six months of employment. Additionally, employers may be eligible for the “Work Opportunity Tax Credit” of up to $2,400 for each individual they hire with a criminal record.
Acting United States Attorney Beth Drake addressed the importance of the re-entry initiative as a way to build safer communities. “It is vital in reducing recidivism for communities to support formerly incarcerated individuals in their effort to become productive and a positive member of our communities - employment is a major step in that process. Individuals who have a criminal record have a hard time finding employment, which in turn makes it difficult to support themselves and their families. Employment helps ex-offenders reintegrate back into society, decreases the likelihood that an individual will commit further crime, increases community safety, and of course saves tax dollars by decreasing the prison population.”
Critical to the success of these job fairs is the vision and support of Neal Getsinger, Commissioner SC Vocational Rehabilitation; Jerry Adger- Director SCPPP, Chief Dickie Brunson- US Probation, and Director Cheryl Stanton of S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. Acting U.S. Attorney Beth Drake added, “We work best when we work together. The goal here is stronger, safer communities. The state and federal agencies that put these job fairs together did some great work which has the potential to change lives.”
Job seekers with and without a record can sign up and search for opportunities via www.scworks.org.