Employers Welcome; Workshop for Job-seekers Sept. 21
The Harford County Second Chance Job and Resource Fair is set for Thursday, October 4 for individuals ages 18 and up who have had past criminal charges or experienced incarceration. The fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The EPICENTER at Edgewood, located at 1918 Pulaski Highway. More than 20 represented employers will offer employment opportunities, and community agencies will provide free resources including housing, job training, bonding and transportation support. Free expungement services offered by the Harford County Bar Foundation are available for up to 25 individuals, who must register in advance. All job seekers are encouraged to attend a free workshop before the fair for help with resume preparation, interviewing skills and bonding information. The Susquehanna Workforce Network will host the workshop on Friday, September 21 from 10 a.m. to noon at their Havre de Grace office co-located with the Harford County Office of Community & Economic Development at 2021-D Pulaski Highway.
Nearly one-third of working age Americans have a criminal record, according to a 2017 study from New York University. To give individuals who have made mistakes a second chance, Harford County Government, Susquehanna Workforce Network, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, the Harford County Health Department, Harford County Bar Foundation, and numerous other community partners developed the Second Chance Job and Resource Fair connecting ex-offenders with employers and life-changing opportunities.
Second Chance employers strengthen our communities and our economy. Research shows that in the first full calendar year after their release, only 55% of formerly incarcerated individuals report any earnings.
“There are more than 3,000 children in Harford County with a parent under criminal supervision. So the influence of Second Chance employers is exponential,” said Amber Shrodes, Director of Harford County Department of Community Services. “Becoming a Second Chance employer is also good for business.”
Research on individuals re-entering the workforce affirms that turnover among ex-offenders is lower than turnover among other employees, and ex-offenders are no more likely to be fired than non-offenders. A citizen whose last offense was seven or more years ago is no more likely to be arrested than a citizen without a record. Those on probation have to maintain employment as a condition of their release and most are drug-tested by their probation officer at no expense to employers.
In addition, Second Chance employers can benefit from federal tax credits. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program offers employers up to $2,400 per employee each year. And the Federal Bonding Program provides employers six-month insurance policies that protect against theft or dishonesty with coverage ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.
To learn more about the benefits of becoming a Second Chance employer and register your company for the Second Chance Job and Resource Fair visit www.harfordcountymd.gov/SecondChance.
To register for the job-seekers workshop prior to the fair, contact Karen Reed at 410-272-5400.
To register for one of the 25 available slots for record expungement services and/or to register to attend the Second Chance Job and Resource Fair, please visit www.harfordcountymd.gov/SecondChance.