116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Job fair set for people with criminal records
Employers, helping agencies will be at April 6 in Cedar Rapids event
Mar. 30, 2023 2:28 pm
CEDAR RAPIDS — An April 6 job fair has been set for those facing barriers to employment because they have criminal records.
The Linn County Expungement Clinic and Fair Chance Job Fair will be held 3 to 6 p.m. April 6 at the Cedar Rapids IowaWORKS Center on the lower level of Lindale Mall.
Those attending the job fair can connect with employers who hire people with criminal backgrounds at a wage of $15 an hour or more. No appointment is necessary.
“It is extremely challenging for people who have been previously incarcerated to integrate back into society with a record attached to their name. That record creates barriers to housing, food access, job security, transportation … the list goes on,” said Angelina Ramirez, vice president of the Advocates for Social Justice.
Those barriers often have disproportionate impacts on people of color, women and people with disabilities, said Abbi Cobb, a paralegal at Iowa Legal Aid explains.
It is critical that people leaving incarceration have support in re-entering society so they don’t reoffend and end up in jail or prison again, according to the Iowa Department of Corrections.
In the past few years, expungement clinics have helped more than 300 people in Linn County. In some cases, Iowa Legal Aid can clear a person’s criminal record, free of charge.
Even if that’s not possible, the April 6 event will allow past offenders to meet with agency representatives who can offer help with housing, food, transportation, health care, education and finances. Also, the Linn County Sheriff's Office will be present to assist people in getting back their Iowa driver’s licenses.