Southwest Floridians get "Second Chances" at Better Together Job Fair

Posted at 8:57 AM, Apr 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-30 08:58:13-04

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. — Several Southwest Floridians got their second chances at the Better Together "Day of Second Chances" Job Fairs in Lehigh Acres and Bonita Springs.

"The biggest life change anyone can make is going from unemployed to employed," the Lead Pastor at Rise Christian Church, Nick Yantorn, said.

That's why he said it was a no-brainer to join forces with Better Together, a non-profit, faith-based organization that focuses on keeping families together, to host a job fair at the church.

A second job fair was held at Turning Point Church in Bonita Springs. The fairs happened on Better Together's nationwide "Day of Second Chances," meaning employers only wanted to focus on your future, and not parts of your past that have kept you from getting a job before, like a past conviction or gap in employment.

Within 10 minutes of the job fair starting at Rise Christian Church, Shelley Almond got the first job offer.

“I was gonna be on the street like yesterday," she said. "I was crying when I walked in the door because my life was in shambles, and then poof! It was all gone. It was all gone.”

She got offered a Harvester job at Keepsake Plants in Alva.

“I do this at home. I self-taught myself," Almond said. "I had some stuff in my background, but that was before I brought Jesus into my life. So right now, he’s just pushing those doors open for me."

Stacey Santos, the Human Resources Manager for Keepsake Plants, said they'll consider anyone for a job, regardless of their past.

"Not everyone has a foot ahead from where they need to be," she said. "We really take pride in actually being able to partner with our community here, and giving people those second chances when they need it."

Megan Rose, the CEO of Better Together, said employment is key to their mission of keeping families together.

"Especially if you’ve been formerly incarcerated. It helps reduce the possibility that you might end up back in the system. It provides structure," she said.

Nine different employers — including RAMS RPG, Mitchell & Stark Construction, and Spherion Staffing — were at Rise Christian Church ready to give people like Almond their second chance.

To learn more about Better Together, click here.

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