Felon Friendly job fair to be held in Youngstown on Tuesday - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Felon Friendly job fair to be held in Youngstown on Tuesday

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

On Tuesday a "Felon-Friendly Job Fair" will be held in Youngstown, and it's focus is on second chances.

But 21 News wanted to know what protects the public from a sexual predator getting a job where children play, or someone with a history of abuse or theft from working in a nursing home?

Inside the sanctuary of the Metro Assembly of God on South Avenue, parishoners normally gather to pray and prepare to celebrate Easter this week, but on Tuesday the church will welcome felons in need of a second chance.

Along with hundreds of people who have been convicted of a crime, approximately 20 local employers will stand ready to interview them on the spot inside the Metro Assembly of God Church, located at at 2530 South Avenue in Youngstown between 10am and 2pm on Tuesday.  That's when the "Felon-Friendly Job Fair" will take place.

Shalise White with United Returning Citizens that is organizing the event says, "Ive explained to employers that mostly every person that you meet they've done something questionable in their past.  These people happen to be charged and convicted with it.  And if it doesn't affect the job you're going to find the most hard working people that you're going to find anywhere because they know this is a second chance."

But in providing those second chances is there a risk that could put the public in danger?

Many of those attending this job fair have been convicted of drug trafficking, and organizers say it's better for them to be working an honest job, than working the streets.

Each participant at the job fair will be properly vetted and talked to individually by an attorney with Legal Aid.  If they have a criminal background that would somehow make them a risk for children or the elderly they would never be considered for those jobs that could put the community in danger.

Dionne Dowdy with AmeriCorp Vista and the Taft Promise Neighborhood Jobs and Economy Council tells 21 News, "If someone has theft as a conviction and I had a business I wouldn't want them there.  But there's like manufacturing jobs where there's nothing really to steal, all you have to do is come and work my machine."

Pastor Cornell Jordan says this job fair isn't just about jobs, it's about hope and community.

"So that they can have a great self-esteem about themselves so that they can in fact move beyond their past," Pastor Jordan said.

Giving those with a past a chance to build a future one step at a time.

Walk-ins are welcome at the job fair.  It will be held on Tuesday, March 26th at Metro Assembly of God Church in Youngstown at 2530 South Avenue.

The hours are from 10am until 2pm and the church is located on WRTA's 5-South bus route.

Some of the employers in attendace:  Comfort Keepers, Mercy Health, Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, City of Youngstown Parks and Recreation, Compass Family Services, Callos, The Enclave at YSU, MPW Industrial Services, Home Care at Callos, Safehouse Ministries, Youngstown City School District, Happy Campers Day Care, TLM Residential Services, and American Maintenance Services.

There will be eight employment resource groups on-hand as well.

If you cannot make it to the job fair but still need help finding work you can contact "United Returning Citizens" at:  330-809-4710.

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