At the Fort Worth Police Department’s first Blow Away the Box job fair, held at Como First Baptist Church last month, officers and volunteers helped more than 100 attendees apply for jobs. So far, more than half of the applicants who were unemployed are working, and many others have strong job leads.
The job fair was organized by community leaders in the FWPD’s West Division in conjunction with Tammy Maguire of People Ready, an employment agency that has helped more than 150 Fort Worth residents, most with felony violations or less-than-perfect backgrounds.
“Blow Away the Box” refers to the box on job applications that asks whether a candidate has a criminal history.
“We proved that we were able to meet an important, generational community need,” said Officer Tracy Carter, one of the event organizers. “This police/community effort gave members of the community hope that manifested in the form of exciting new opportunities to legally earn wages by blowing away the box and improving the quality of their lives, as well as their family members’ lives.”
Financial counselors were available to mentor and educate participants, who learned important fiscal management skills to increase the benefits of their new employment.
“Our mission in this endeavor was simple,” Carter said. “We strive to provide employment opportunities for all who need them, and through education and employment, break the box and change the lives and future for all involved.”
Other event organizers include Tammy Maguire, People Ready; Glen Strongberg Investment Group; Abdul Chappell, Build a Better Hood Partners of Tarrant County; the Rev. Kenneth Jones, Como First Baptist Church; the Rev. Kyev Tatum; and Nathan Carter.
A larger job fair is scheduled for Sept. 28 at New Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church, 2864 Mississippi Ave. There are also plans to branch out to the north and east areas of Fort Worth.