Job fair giving second chances at work and at life

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- A job fair designed to give anyone a second chance is coming to North Alabama later this month.

"There's not one person in this world that has not had a life event that has caused them to change where they work, where they live, family dynamics, possibly losing their job," said Dana Wolfe, Director of Adult Education at Calhoun Community College.

The Second Chance Job Fair is for those people.

"I found it through parole. I paroled out of prison and it was one of my stipulations of getting parole," said Chris Minor, a member of the Ready to Work Program.

He said his prison past has made it hard it to start over.

"I kind of see it like a disability," Minor continued. "You know we already got strikes against us."

Minor is a member of the Calhoun Community College "Ready to Work Program." He has been getting guidance, training and is preparing for the second chance job fair.

"It was kind of like a shocker at first because I didn't really think nothing like that existed because you know, coming out of prison I thought people really wouldn't give you a chance like their giving us," Minor Said.

Dana Wolfe is the director of Calhoun Community College Adult Education. She says the job fair will have felon friendly jobs but it's for anyone.

"People that need a second chance, maybe they're homeless, maybe they are a parent that has just lost a spouse," she said,

It's also for people like job seeker Anya Douglas.

"I'm going to be 40. I was laid off five months ago," she said. "And it's basically me starting over because here I am, 40, basically middle-aged and having 20 years in one singular career field, and now I'm starting over in another one and I need help."

Wolfe said she cares about helping people start over because she's been there.

"20 some odd years ago I was a single parent, with three babies," she remembered. "And I found myself in a domestic violence circumstance. And I ended up in a homeless shelter for abused women," said Wolfe.

She was given her second chance as an English-as-a-second-language teacher, which led her to where she is today.

"This is near and dear to my heart, I tear up every time I think about it," she stated. "Because there's a lot of people that we pass by, we don't know what is going on in their life. And a lot of times they don't want to reach out. They're embarrassed, I was embarrassed. They're scared."

She says the job fair will not only help get people a job, but one they can grow up in, and to one day, pass that opportunity on to others.

"Got to get that second chance to make it right," Minor added.

The job fair will be on February 27th from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Jaycee Community Building, 2180 Airport Rd SW, Huntsville, AL  35802.

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