RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) –
Some RVA businesses are signing up to get thousands of dollars for hiring ex-cons. It’s part of a big rally and job fair this weekend.
“Just imagine you can’t leave the house for four years,” said Robert Edwards describing his time behind bars. “People can change. Just because you were a bad person yesterday or last year doesn’t mean you can’t be a better person.”
Robert’s father died during his stint in prison.
“Nobody would hire me,” said Edwards about his experience after being released from jail in 2009. “So what I did was took the entrepreneurship road and started my own company.”
Not everyone is that fortunate. Local community leaders are reminding business owners about the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. Business owners can get $2,400 if you agree to hire an ex-felon.
“That’s right,” said radio personality Community Clovia. “We don’t want to call them felons. We call them returning citizens.”
Community Clovia is teaming up with the Gloucester Institute to host the Criminal Justice Reform Rally and Job Fair.
“The Gloucester Institute is about solving problems,” said C.J. Sailor who is director of programs for the Gloucester Institute. “Is this going to be another panel where folks are talking about the problem? No. A success would be a packed house, but not only that…some folks walking away with jobs.”
Community Clovia says employers will be ready to hire returning citizens.
“Willing to hire!” exclaimed Clovia. “On site and online.”
The rally and job fair is this Saturday, May 30 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Trinity Family Life Center. That is located at 3601 Dill Road in Richmond.
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