Wednesday, August 22, 2001

Job fair extends ex-cons 2nd chance

Organizer says more employers needed

By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Ohio Sen. Mark Mallory is looking for a few more businesses to take part in a job fair to help ex-convicts find work.

        The Community Re-Entry Job Fair will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services office, 1916 Central Parkway. The job fair is free and open to ex-offenders, employers and service agencies.

        Mr. Mallory said business participation is woefully low.

        “We only have about half the employers we need,” he said. “We have received many calls from ex-offenders looking for work. We need to get enough employers to give them a second chance.”

        John Allen, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, said 30 employers are participating in the event so far. The Regional Employment Consortium is sponsoring the event with a handful of state agencies.

        “We're all about helping people overcome barriers to employment,” Mr. Allen said. “In the case of ex-offenders, that's a barrier.”

        The event will offer perks to companies who hire ex-convicts, including a tax credit up to $8,500 and federal bonding options of $5,000.

        “The best way to keep ex-offenders from returning to prison is to help them build a future,” Mr. Mallory said.

        Employers and ex-offenders can call Mr. Mallory's office at (614) 466-5980 for more information.


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