Denise Malone (right) of the City of Ithaca with a job seeker at the Beyond the Box event.
Image by Diane Duthie Designs

Denise Malone (right) of the City of Ithaca with a job seeker at the Beyond the Box event.

Crowd at the Beyond the Box Networking and Job Fair, 5/29/18
Image by Diane Duthie Designs

Crowd at the Beyond the Box Networking and Job Fair, 5/29/18

Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick provided opening remarks.
Image by Diane Duthie Designs

Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick provided opening remarks.

Job seekers interact with employers and service providers at the event on 5/29/18.
Image by Diane Duthie Designs

Job seekers interact with employers and service providers at the event on 5/29/18.

Indy Li (left) and Taili Mugambee, members of the event planning committee
Image by Diane Duthie Designs

Indy Li (left) and Taili Mugambee, members of the event planning committee

Beyond the Box Job Fair


LOCAL EVENT PROMOTES FAIR HIRING PRACTICES

For three hours on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, the Space at GreenStar was transformed into a hub for returning citizens to connect with local service providers and employers.

The Beyond the Box Networking and Job Fair is the first local event of its kind to target individuals who are returning to their families and the community after incarceration. 25 service providers and 11 employers participated in the Beyond the Box Networking and Job Fair and approximately 40 returning citizens and members of the community attended.

"We know that employment is the key to successful reentry, and the question about criminal history on job applications can be a huge barrier to someone who is trying to turn their life around," said Indy Li, Assistant Coordinator of the Ultimate Reentry Opportunity Initiative, one of the planners of the event.

The aim of the fair was twofold: to connect people to service providers and employers, and also to encourage conversation around the effects of incarceration that remain long after someone has served their sentence.After reentry, barriers to employment and the inability to provide for oneself and one’s family can force people back into criminal behavior, increasing their risk for re-incarceration.A group of local service providers, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and reentry advocates decided to act and came together to plan the first networking and job fair for returning citizens.

Edgar Johnson, a Recruitment Specialist from Cornell University who participated in the Fair, said that he felt “It would be very important as a representative of the university to be engaged in the conversation of creating opportunity for people who have had significant contact with the criminal justice system".

The event was organized in collaboration with the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, the Women’s Opportunity Center, Tompkins Workforce NY, Challenge Workforce Solutions, Opportunities Alternatives and Resources (OAR), Catholic Charities of Tompkins County, Alternatives Federal Credit Union, Hospitality Employment Training Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, Way2Go and Ultimate Reentry Opportunity.

For more information or to join the planning committee for future events, please contact Taili Mugambee, Equity & Inclusion Programs Coordinator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, at tm554@cornell.edu or (607) 272-2292.


Ultimate Reentry Opportunity (URO) is a community-initiated and community-supported program that works collaboratively to help formerly incarcerated women and men access the resources to successfully rejoin their local communities. The campaign is housed in CCE-Tompkins, which is also its fiscal sponsor.

Contact

Taili Mugambee
Equity & Inclusion Programs Coordinator
tm554@cornell.edu
(607) 272-2292 Voicemail 191

Last updated June 7, 2018