RICHMOND — As employers these days search for available workers, they often overlook an untapped labor source – qualified former inmates.
The Virginia Department of Corrections will join forces with the Virginia Employment Commission on Wednesday, October 20 to host a virtual job fair designed to help loads of employers connect with this ready pool of skilled workers.
The “Empower to Employ Greater Hampton Roads Job and Resource Fair” is available to all who seek employment, but offers special workshops to former inmates seeking jobs.
There are many good reasons to hire newly released inmates:
- They possess specialized skills and education gained during their incarceration.
- They are eager to show what they can do.
- They allow employers to take advantage of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) and the Virginia Bonding Program.
Through the federal WOTC program an employer can gain thousands of dollars in tax credits by hiring former inmates not later than one year after conviction or release from prison.
The Virginia Bonding program provides fidelity bonding for the first six months of employment for qualified job applicants. This is available at no cost, and it provides $5,000 in protection against losses that may arise from an employee theft.
Workshops during the job fair will include: Veterans Services, Virginia Career Works, Overcoming Employment Barriers, and Apprenticeship Opportunities.
Register for the Job Fair here.