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By Darian TrotterFox San Antonio Facebook Opportunity awaits for people who've been out of work because of their criminal past. The Second Chance Job Fair kicks off Thursday at the AT&T Center. Fox San Antonio's Darian Trotter has details.The AT&T Center will be bustling Thursday. It's where hundreds of people are expected to gather for the Second Chance Job Fair."It's a collaborative effort between Bexar County and Workforce Solutions Alamo to connect employers with job seekers who have been unemployed because of thier criminal past. Thomas Akiens said, "I think that is awesome, I think that is very outstanding and I think we should have more of those." Akiens knows first hand how tough it can be. He's now a warehouse manager, but when applying for jobs after his drug possession arrest 23-years ago, he says it wasn't easy. "Well they would say we don't accept felons, we don't accept felons, we don't accept felons, or we don't accept this kind of felon." He says it made him feel hopeless. "You say, well what other avenues do I have if I can't go back into society and work then what do I do where do I go from here." Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert said, "We have to have a serious conversation about getting people on the right track and making them productive citizens."Calvert says the community near the AT&T Center has one of the area's highest number of probationers and there's a large number of people in the county having a hard time finding work because of past mistakes."Unfortunately in Bexar county we've got a half million people who've been through the justice system. It's a huge amount of people and what that means for our communities is lower wages, broken families, and it means depressed neighborhoods," Calvert said. The AT&T Center is slated for $100-million dollars in renovations. That project alone requires construction workers; and there are other jobs up for grabs.Lechelle Akiens is one of 70-employers who will be looking to hire people formerly incarcerated. "It's not just about your past it's about what you're trying to do for your future," she said. The Second Chance Job Fair runs from 9:00am - 12:00pmTo register as an employer or a job-seeker click here: SECOND CHANCE
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