It’s a Mixed Picture for Job Seekers as Thousands of Ex-Offenders Attend Philly Event


Thousands of ex-offenders flooded a Philadelphia-sponsored job fair yesterday looking for work and getting tips on job interviews and how to expunge their records, says the Philadelphia Daily News. Many attendees left with something else. Mike Blackwell, 49, a real-estate agent who served time for aggravated assault 10 years ago, said the best part of the event was hearing from public officials that he shouldn’t be embarrassed about his experience. “It brings everybody out,” he said. “Everyone is in the closet about it.” More than 100 vendors had tables at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Tasha Cook, 40, made promising connections and acknowledged that her criminal record will always be a part of her application. “I put my best foot forward and that’s all I can do,” she said. Barry Younger, 60, was less enthusiastic. He has found it difficult to overcome “the stigma of being an ex-offender.” On top of a DUI and a traffic accident, he has a misdemeanor assault, which he said turns employers off.

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