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UW Extension News

Posted on: September 20, 2018

Employment expo to meet two needs: Workers for businesses, jobs for the formerly incarcerated

Reentry Employment Expo

An upcoming expo aims to help employers struggling to find qualified workers to fill open positions.

The second iteration of the Southeast Wisconsin Reentry Employment Expo will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, at Gateway Technical College’s Horizon Center, 4940 88th Ave., Kenosha.

Employers are encouraged to stop by this no-cost event as their schedules permit. Matthew Krueger, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser and Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave are scheduled to welcome morning guests.

The expo’s primary purpose is to acquaint employers with agencies serving a significant, often untapped segment of the labor market: those who were formerly incarcerated, said Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley.

“When reentry services are coordinated and formerly incarcerated individuals are given the chance to find employment that pays steady wages and provides them with a sense of community and self-worth, recidivism decreases,” Graveley said. “Events such as this, connecting employers with agencies who provide work-ready candidates, are a good step toward reducing recidivism and increasing peace and prosperity in Southeast Wisconsin.”

Businesses that employ the formerly incarcerated, government and community agencies that support their transition back to the community, and faith leaders will be on hand to answer questions, provide introductions, and encourage employers to consider hiring work-ready returning individuals.

For a similar event held at the Cousins Center in St. Francis in May, Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki sent letters to more than 2,000 of his business contacts throughout the entire Archdiocese to encourage local businesses to attend the Expo and hire returning citizens and those having difficulty obtaining employment.

“I have heard that many business owners would embrace the opportunity to hire those returning from prison but they don’t know how to take the first step, feeling uncertain about taking on what some see as unnecessary risk,” the Archbishop wrote in his letter. “We want to work with you to break down the barriers to taking that first step.”

RSVPs are appreciated but not required at https://re-entryexpo.eventbrite.com.

The Expo is sponsored by Kenosha County, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Office for Urban Ministry, the Kenosha Area Business Alliance, the Kenosha Unity Coalition, the Racine/Kenosha Vocational Ministry, Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce, Racine County and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Media Contact: Amy Greil, Amy.Greil@kenoshacounty.org or 262-857-1935.

Contacts for Employers and Exhibitors: Amy Greil, Amy.Greil@kenoshacounty.org or 262-857-1935; Kenneth Gales, Reentry Coordinator at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Kenneth.Gales@usdoj.gov or 414-297-1923.

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