Career fair hosted by KC police gives ex-convicts a fresh start

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Having a job is an important first step in making sure a convicted felon doesn't end up in trouble again, so Wednesday, KCPD’s south patrol hosted a job fair specifically for ex-offenders.

Sgt. Jonathan Cranston said men and women had a chance to meet with 25 employers and service organizations.

"If we can find an outlet for those who have had a checkered past, who have made some mistakes and are finding it difficult to get back into society to do the right thing, that will decrease the crime rate," Cranston said.

Michael Harrison had a difficult time finding a job after spending three months in prison and three years on probation.

"It was a tough transition, rough at first. But most manufacturing jobs don't hold a record against you as long as you come in every day and do your work," he said.

His hard work paid off, and at Wednesday's job fair, several employers took notice. He even won a useful prize.

"I'm just in a whirlwind. I'm excited -- I got a brand new bike, two jobs and now I need to decide which job I want," Harrison said.

For those still looking for work, the road can be tough. Terri George spend several months in prison and now works with the Full Employment Council.

On Wednesday, she offered advice and counseling to others looking for work.

"Stay humble. Network, network, network. There are so many resources out there available to help people in this situation," George said.