City of Chattanooga partners with American Job Center to host Ex-Offender Job Fair

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – The City of Chattanooga partnered with the American job center and the Tennessee Department of Corrections to host a job fair for ex offenders. 

This job fair focused on connecting justice-involved individuals with professional development and employment opportunities.

“We have employers here who are already aware of people who had some challenges. We are advocating for them and want them to have a new life,” says Troy Rogers, City of Chattanooga Public Safety.

The job fair featured employment opportunities in a variety of industries such as manufacturing, poultry, machinery, construction and more-providing numerous possibilities for job seeking ex-offenders. 

“They have the opportunity to meet employers and sit one on one. A lot of them have had interviews. A lot of them are getting hired on the spot,” says Rogers.

Joe Jenkins was once considered to be one of Chattanooga’s worst criminals. Today he lives a completely changed life!!! He’s a productive member of society as an employee of Valmont.

“You have to put in the work. Since I’ve done that, Chattanooga and my city has opened their arms to me. I started off as a crane operator while I was there; I trained on my lunch breaks and learned how to weld. I passed the welding test and I am now a fitter welder which is one of the highest paid employees at the company,” says Joe Jenkins, Ex Offender and Employee at Valmont. 

Jenkins is also the founder of the BRAVE effect – an organization that mentors ex-offenders and guides them on a path to success.

“When you are coming back from something like that you are thinking that no one is willing to touch you or no ones willing to give you the opportunity. They need to be able to see guys who have done it and say ‘man if I did it you can do it,'” says Jenkins. 

For more information on how the American Job Center can help you click here

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