Job fair looks to curb crime with opportunities

FORT MYERS, Fla.- It’s been two weeks since a series of shootings rocked the city of Fort Myers. The Dunbar community is still shaken by the wave of violence, and desperate for help.

For those hosting a job fair, they hope the key to cutting crime will be getting people to work.

Southwest Florida Labor Council President Mark Potter says the jobs offered at the Quality Life Center Tuesday night are a once in a lifetime opportunity for some people.

Labor unions representing trades like electricians and construction workers were there to recruit immediate workers and candidates for paid apprenticeship programs.

“In today’s society, that’s a hard ticket to find,” Potter said.

It’s especially hard for someone with a criminal record.

Desperation from poverty can keep the cycle of crime going, so the WINK News Nightbeat asked if a criminal past could keep someone from getting hired.

One union president said ex-criminals may be limited to the jobs they can get, but not disqualified.

“This is an opportunity for them to get back on their feet, get their life back going in the right way, and earn a living,” Richard Jones said.

Some are hopeful for a domino effect in Dunbar; one opportunity from tonight’s job fair leading to another.

“When you change one family, you change the whole neighborhood.”

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