2nd chance job fair in Natchez helps ex-offenders lead productiv - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

2nd chance job fair in Natchez helps ex-offenders lead productive lives

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

Job hunting with the burden of criminal background can be challenging.  A job fair Wednesday in Natchez was aimed at giving those with a checkered past a 2nd chance at a brighter future.

 William Tillman and Marquis Williams admit they have both been in some trouble with the law.

“My charge was simple assault on a police officer,” said Williams.

“I had burglary. That's the main one,” said Tillman.

These job seekers admit because of their past deeds, they have faced several hurdles.

“Construction work is not too hard to get, but anything else like stores won't hire you,” added Tillman.

“It is a little rough when you make it back home and everyone says that they can't take you seriously because you made a mistake,” added Williams.

This 2nd chance job fair in Natchez offered these men along with hundreds of others a fresh start.

More than two dozen employers were on hand to offer everything from jobs, to help with resumes to record expungements. The event was sponsored by the Adams County Sheriff's office, Walmart in Vicksburg and Sigma Chi Iota.

“A lot of times whatever they did to find themselves in a particular situation, they will never repeat it again," said Natchez Chief Walter Armstrong. "Especially when someone reaches out to them and gives them a second opportunity to make good on their life.” 

Organizers say the goal is to give folks with background issues a hand up not a handout.

“We are trying to make sure these people become whole again by giving them one piece of the puzzle to get their lives back on track and get the finances they need,” said Sheriff Travis Patten.

These job seekers are confident the helping hand they received at the job fair will have a positive impact on their future.

“Hopefully, I can do better than I did in the past,” said Williams.

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