Mayor’s ‘Fair Chance Hiring Fair’ provides uplift for job seekers
OW Staff Writer | 12/8/2016, midnight
A job fair hosted recently by Mayor Eric Garcetti gave formerly incarcerated Angelenos the second chances they need to find good-paying jobs and provide for themselves and their families.
The first-ever Fair Chance Hiring Fair—a partnership between Mayor Garcetti’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Employment Equity, Councilmember Curren Price, Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Los Angeles Trade Technical College, and Uber—brought employers from across the city together with Angelenos looking to re-enter the job market after incarceration.
“Everyone in this city deserves an opportunity to secure a good-paying job—and I am committed to working with our partners to help people rebuild their lives and reclaim their dignity after incarceration,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The Fair Chance Hiring Fair shows that L.A. believes in giving people the second chances they need to get back on their feet.”
More than 50 employers and 30 workforce development organizations participated in the fair, which aimed to expand employment opportunities for people with nonviolent offenses on their records.
“Time and again, I have heard from formerly incarcerated individuals who share a willingness to better themselves but keep getting shut out of employment,” said Councilman Curren Price. “As elected officials, we must do everything in our power to expand access and opportunities, and reduce barriers to employment for formerly incarcerated individuals. After all, this is a city that is compassionate and inclusive, and we want to see every individual—regardless of race, ethnicity, ZIP code or past—fulfill their God-given potential.”
“Los Angeles is again leading the way by hosting the first-of-its-kind fair and demonstrating our commitment to bringing jobs to people who want to work but just need that second chance,” added Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer. “I applaud the businesses who are standing with us today and making this important commitment to the well-being and success of communities throughout the region.”
“It’s truly an honor to be a part of such an ambitious initiative that aims to improve the lives of Angelenos,” said Christopher Ballard, Uber Southern California General Manager. “Crime is wrong. Once a person has served their time, we need to give them a second chance. Consigning millions of people to a life of unemployment is bad for our economy and society. It’s important that companies do what they can to give more people the opportunity to earn a living.”
The Fair Chance Hiring Fair was organized by Mayor Garcetti’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Employment Equity. The mayor launched the commission this year to help create more opportunities for formerly incarcerated Angelenos and others who have been historically disconnected from the job market. Last year, the mayor established an Office of Reentry, which is now in partnership with Caltrans to employ more than 1,300 formerly incarcerated people over the next three years.