COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSAV)- Right now there are more than 20,000 people behind bars in South Carolina prisons. And for many when they’re released, they’ll have trouble landing a job because of their record.
A Second Chance Job Fair was held in the Capital City Wednesday to help people overcome these roadblocks and start careers.
One of the organizers of the event said opportunities like the job fair are important in preventing repeat offenders. “A brother of mine came home in the same condition and he couldn’t find a job and was struggling end up returning to the streets and he was murdered in 2012,” said Kimani Davis, founder of YNotU2 Staffing.
Kimani Davis is an ex-offender and knows the trouble of finding a job too well. That’s why job fairs aimed at giving people with marks on the
“When I was released there was nobody to give me guidance to tell me what I needed to do to get myself back on the right track so I went through the process alone.
The executive director of Prosper Strong Foundation added to Davis’ concerns.
“We found that if you help these individuals obtain employment they have a better chance of not going back to jail and it decreases the crime rate and it also families that have been struggling for a long time without that bread winner in the household,” said Travis Creech.
The job fairs works with employers that will look past criminal records and give that person the second chance they need to make a change for the better. One way companies are trying to expand their recruiting pool is by banning the box on applications that asks about ones’ background.
“I think the ban the box movement which we call it i think it does help because it keeps an employer from looking at the box and not looking at the employee and what they’re capable of and their resume,” explained Davis.
Employers say even with initiatives like “Ban the Box” and job fairs like the Second Chance, there are still limitations on the types of jobs someone with marks on their record can get.
“There are state jobs and federal jobs that you might not be allowed to work on, but also for a lot of companies, like my construction company…our insurance company has a requirement that we do a background check to ensure you on our policy,” added Davis.
The Second Chance Job Fair is also an opportunity for people with disabilities to find jobs. Employers say that is another area where people have trouble starting careers.