Erie County residents who have non-violent criminal records got a chance to explore job options on Thursday at the Second Chance Job Expo.
“There’s always that criminal past that is a stigma towards people” said Crystal King. King was one of the many people who talked to potential employers.
She says the job expo helped her out because she didn’t know the businesses that were there hired people with a criminal past. “I think that is great and the laws that they are passing and stuff really are going to help a lot of people out in this community and other communities too,” said King.
The job expo was put on by State Representative Bob Merski who says he believes the criminal justice system should be reformative. “It’s events like this that allow us to reintegrate people into the community so that they become taxpaying citizens and productive members of society,” Representative Bob Merski.
This job fair is a product of the clean slate act which was enacted in Pennsylvania last year. Sate Representative Jordan Harris came up with the Clean Slate Act which give people with nonviolent criminal records an opportunity to have their record sealed from public view.
“There are a lot of pennsylvanians across this Commonwealth who have found themselves on the wrong side of the law, but they’ve reformed, they’ve changed their lives and they just want to get on with their lives,” said Representative Harris.
Meanwhile, Crystal King say she can’t wait to follow up with the job connections she made on Thursday.