Miami-Dade County

Ex-Cons Get Second Chance At South Florida Job Fair

Job seekers with a criminal record are getting help looking for work

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Radames Tirado is used to being rejected.

“I’ve been in and out of prison for a while. And it’s just hard for us to get a job, a good job," Tirado said. "Because once you tell ‘em you’re incarcerated, they don’t want to give you the job. They say they’ll call you, and they never do."

The 65-year-old is hoping to find work to support his four-month-old daughter Kasani and her mom. The family of four went looking for job opportunities at the 305 Second Chance Job and Resource Expo on Friday.

Right now, Kasani’s mom, Dasani Williams, is the only one working in the household.

"It’s hard," she said. "You’re trying and trying and trying, you really don’t get nowhere. We need to take a step forward and that’s why we came here."

The job fair is a collaboration between the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, CareerSource of South Florida, and Miami-Dade County.

"We're here to say 'we believe in you,'" County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said. "You've done your time, we want to give you a second chance. It’s good for you, it’s good for the work place, it’s good for our community."

And the job opportunities could even include the county police department. Interim Director George Perez said a criminal record may not necessarily disqualify someone from working at the department, especially if it’s minor.

“We look at the severity,” Perez explained. “We look at history. We look at the person and we look at the totality of who they are and where they came from and where they’re currently at right now. And it may not be the exact job that they want but we can certainly be a part of getting them on that path.”

Radames Tirado and Dasani Williams said they want to be on a path too - one that leads toward a good job and a better life for their daughter.

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