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Job fair designed for convicted criminals seeking employment set for February 15 in Des Moines

DES MOINES - If you are a convicted criminal having trouble with employers, a job fair designed for you is scheduled for February 15, 2023, in Des Moines.

DES MOINES – If you are a convicted criminal having trouble with employers, a job fair designed for you is scheduled for February 15, 2023, in Des Moines.

This week, the REFORM Alliance announced that it will host its first Iowa Job Fair in collaboration with the Greater Des Moines Partnership at the Iowa Events Center on February 15, 2022 from noon to 6pm.

The event will feature recruiters from local employers and national corporations hiring for hundreds of open positions at all levels. Employers span industries including manufacturing, food service, customer service, logistics, and more. Some confirmed employers include UPS, The Rasmussen Group, Hy-Vee, Accumold, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Amazon, Mom’s Meals, and others.

The event is open to all but especially focused on reaching individuals who have been impacted by the criminal justice system. Representatives of community-based organizations, workforce development programs, and reentry organizations will be on-site providing free career development resources and job readiness support. These resources will help overcome obstacles to employment for those who are ready and willing to work. Resources will include:

Expungement Aid
Resume-Building Resources and Interview prep
Advice on Professional Attire
Grooming and Styling Services

The Iowa Job Fair arrives as the state continues to look for opportunities to grow its talent base. The latest statewide workforce assessment finds that there are more open jobs than those who are unemployed, showing the need to further find untapped talent.

A study by the Brookings Institute, which analyzed the labor outcomes in the United States, found that only 55 percent of formerly incarcerated persons found employment within the year following their release. Meanwhile, experiences shared by some of the largest employers offering jobs to people with criminal records suggest that returning citizens are among the most loyal workers. The Kroger Company’s “New Beginnings” pilot program boasted a 93 percent retention rate among second-chance hires at the 18-month mark.

“Employment is one of the key factors in reducing recidivism and preventing future crime. That’s why extending resources and equitable opportunities for quality jobs is fundamental to building safe communities and a thriving economy,” said Kam Middlebrooks, Iowa State Director, REFORM Alliance and Iowans United for Opportunity coalition lead. “Many of these community members can and want to work, but haven’t been exposed to the right opportunities. We’ve assembled an incredible group of employers looking to fill open positions and the resources this population needs to overcome any obstacles to employment. It’s a recipe for success for job seekers and employers alike.”

“The need for talent is a top need we hear from our Investors and Members, and the resources we’ve assembled for this event are some of the best in the region to help bridge the gap between employers eager to fill critical roles and job seekers who are ready to work,” said Jenae Sikkink, Senior Vice President of Talent Development at the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “We are excited to help connect some of the region’s major employers with quality talent at the Iowa Job Fair.”

The Iowa Job Fair arrives in the wake of REFORM’s recent national expansion of its ongoing job fair event series, which kicked off at Madison Square Garden for New Yorkers in 2021 and debuted its Philadelphia iteration just last year at the Wells Fargo Center.

In order to participate in the event, employers must be willing to commit to offering full-time positions that are primarily located in the state of Iowa. Prospective candidates must be able to show proof of identification in order to enter the venue.

If interested in attending the job fair, please register here.

If interested in offering employment opportunities or donating items, please visit here.

For more information, please visit or @reform on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok.

Remember, there are a lot of job openings in Iowa, and no one should be freeloading are trying to get free handouts.

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I think the tone of your graphic is offensive. I find it an unfortunate choice for attracting people wanting to do the right thing. What is the inducement here? Guilt? Shame? I am going to want to improve myself because you called me a freeloader? Maybe I am overreacting and being overly sensitive but I believe that you are setting a negative tone for a positive event. In my opinion your graphic will keep more people away than it will draw in. I have been gainfully employed the entire time that I have been out, yet I would like to advance my career. The restraining factor has not been a reticence to work but resistance from the potential employers.

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