Local News

Fayetteville job fair seeks to help ex-offenders

Posted April 22, 2015

— Christopher Walker is searching for a second chance in life. The 40-year-old was recently released from federal prison after serving time for possession of a stolen firearm.

Walker is one of many previous law offenders in Fayetteville who spent the day Wednesday looking through donated clothes and shoes in preparation for the first annual Re-Entry Job and Resource Fair for Ex-Offenders.

"This is a big step in my future," Walker said. "I don't have any more room for errors as far as criminal activity. Hopefully, I'll get some decent clothing to be dressed to go for an interview and hopefully find employment."

According to organizers, the goal of the job fair is to help ex-offenders get ready to enter the workforce.

Fayetteville Police Chief Harold Medlock said the entire community wins when ex-offenders are given a second chance to get back on track.

"Crime prevention is not just about locking doors and putting your things away," Medlock said. "Crime prevention is about finding a way to get our offenders to stop offending."

Vincent Huntley served time in jail before he earned his Associate's Degree and landed a job. He said the job fair is important for a very simple reason.

"To give them hope," Huntley said. "To give them some kind of initiative to go out and get a job, and hopefully that job will bring an income that will motivate them to get to the next level."

The job fair is scheduled for May 2 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Fuller D. Recreation Center on Old Bunce Road. Job seekers are asked to dress professionally.


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  • Louis St.Lewis Apr 23, 2015
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    What makes you think these people are getting free educations? The only person mentioned earned his associates degree AFTER he left prison! Yes, in prison you can study for your GED and even acquire an associate degree. I'm happy about that! Perhaps your own children ( if they put in the effort) can someday earn a GED as well!

  • Abrams Gunner Apr 23, 2015
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    A more remarkable idea would be to not do the crimes you were convicted for in the first place.

  • Pam Snyder Apr 23, 2015
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    I am hoping it is not for violent offenders. I believe in second chances but for people who honestly deserve them. A lot of people are going to take issue with this I believe especially since we have so many people who need an education and can't get one. Seems a little unfair to me that prisoners are able to get free education and not our children.

  • Holly Atkins Apr 23, 2015
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    I couldn't agree more.

    I also want to thank all those people who donated the clothes so that these people could potentially have a chance. Also, the busninesses participating in the job fair for offering that chance going forward. We've all made mistakes and some get caught and some don't.

    There are some people who have high visibility positions and have done far worse than these guys and gals.

  • Anne Havisham Apr 23, 2015
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    What a remarkable idea!

    Those who have served their time deserve a chance to continue whatever rehabilitation they have been able to acquire when they were incarcerated.

    Sadly, some institutions offer more punishment than they offer a chance to learn the skills that people need to live successfully as law-abiding citizens.

    In addition to helping people who are out of jail or prison (and their families),
    this program makes our communities safer. Who can possibly argue with that?

    (I'll wait; sadly, it's bound to happen.)