BEL AIR — Nearly 200 jobseekers attended Harford County’s annual Second Chance Job and Resource Fair on Thursday, Sept. 26, at The EPICENTER in Edgewood. The event, coordinated by Harford County government, Susquehanna Workforce Network, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, the Harford County Health Department, the Harford County Bar Foundation, Maryland Legal Aid, Parole and Probation and numerous other partners, connects adults who have experienced incarceration with employment opportunities and resources.
“I found everything I was looking for,” said Michael C. of Belcamp, one of 183 participants who attended the fair. “The volunteers were helpful. I received expungement services and applied for a job.”
“This was extremely helpful; everything I needed was here,” said Katie N. of Bel Air.
Twenty local companies attended, seeking qualified applicants for a variety of full- and part-time positions ranging from food service, custodial, HVAC, to clerical, retail, mechanical and warehousing jobs. Additionally, community agencies were on-site to provide information about job training, bonding, expungement services, housing and transportation support.
“This was wonderful. This is a great resource for those who are struggling to find employment,” said Lorrani Allen, recruitment and facility organizer with Flagger Force. “The turnout was outstanding.”
Volunteer attorneys met with 116 individuals to expunge over 100 charges and provide legal advice. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration provided services to 57 participants, and the Health Department assisted 50 individuals in obtaining their birth certificate. There were 41 participants who sought job training and employment readiness opportunities. Additionally, 33 human-service agencies provided financial counseling, health screening, treatment and recovery support, and transportation and housing resources.
“Strengthening families is a top priority for the administration under County Executive Barry Glassman,” said Amber Shrodes, Harford County director of Community Services. “Connecting individuals to employment and resources at the Second Chance Job Fair is one way we are making a major impact on the lives of individuals that have been incarcerated and their dependents. We deeply appreciate the support of our partners and the community. And we are also immensely grateful to the employers and agencies that attended to help give individuals who are looking to rebuild their lives a second chance.”
To learn more about re-entry resources in Harford County or the benefits of becoming a Second Chance employer, visit www.harfordcountymd.gov/SecondChance.