Second Chances Hiring Fair gives convicted felons fresh starts

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT)– Over 100 employers filled Bartow Arena Friday afternoon looking to help convicted felons get back on their feet.

Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr organized the “Second Chances Hiring Fair”.

Carr says fresh opportunity helps curb crime and can prevent formerly convicted felons from becoming repeat offenders.

Job seeker Kevin Bolden says the thought of a new job and redefining his life keeps him going.

Bolden says he was released 11 years ago. He’s been making a living as a barber, but says he needs more.

However, there are challenges when a person with a background applies for jobs.

“Instead of just going in, you know you go in and you fill out your application people search your background and it’s a different story,” Bolden said.

The hiring fair eliminated the guess work. Employers knew they were coming in to interview people with criminal backgrounds, and were willing to give them new opportunities.

“You know to have this opportunity to stand with somebody that is looking forward to hiring me, that means a lot.”

Walter Turner owns and operates STS Prideline. Turner gave Bolden an opportunity Friday afternoon.

Bolden will be training to become a truck driver for the company. He says the job will help him provide for his wife and children.

Turner says STS has come to several second-chance hiring events and it’s where he’s found several excellent employees.

300 job seekers came out, filling out applications and looking for the chance to redefine their lives.

Several organizations in Birmingham say they plan to continue hosting second chance hiring fairs as a way to curb crime and gain loyal employees.

You can find more details on second-chance hiring here.

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