When William Ramos enters the room, he sees more than just booths, he sees a room full of opportunity.
The Capital Region ReEntry Resource and Empowerment Fair isn’t a typical career fair. It's a fair and second chance for those in the criminal justice system.
“They helped me with public assistance, find a job, public transportation, they even bought me boots and a pair of shoes to go on work interviews,” Ramos said.
After being incarcerated for first-degree robbery, Ramos said all he needed was support and an open door. He now works as a carpenter after attending events similar to this one.
What You Need To Know
- According to a 2021 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the average working person is employed for 78% of the time, compared to 58% for those who are formerly incarcerated
- Capital Region ReEntry Resource and Empowerment Fair is hosted by the Capital Region Workforce Development Board, New York State Department of Labor, the Business Council of New York State, Capital Region Chamber, Albany County District Attorney's Office, Capital Region BOCES and Tech Valley Shuttle
- The event focuses on individuals connected to the criminal justice system by providing information and services to assist with resume assistance, career services, interview preparation, professional headshots, legal affairs assistance, transportation assistance, skills training for good-paying careers, childcare assistance, identification obtainment and more
“I got left off early because of good behavior and have been flying high ever since," Ramos said. "After 10 years in prison, you can imagine. I didn't have no type of light at the end. I’m 46, so I didn’t see any light. So I came here and they showed me the way.”
The empowerment fair connects individuals with career services like resume assistance, interview preparation and professional headshots.
Rubin Brewington is a volunteer with Albany’s Center for Employment Opportunities. He’s helping others, because at one point, he was in their shoes.
“I was incarcerated years ago. I came home had a resume and couldn’t find work as a ex-felony offender. I ended up resulting back into my old ways,” said Brewington.
According to a 2021 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the average working person is employed for 78% of the time, compared to 58% for those who are formerly incarcerated.
“Hands down, if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask. This is the place to come to,” Ramos said.