Traveling job fair hits the streets of Philadelphia

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Saturday, September 8, 2018
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Traveling job fair hits the streets of Philadelphia. Trish Hartman reports during Action News at 10 p.m. on September 7, 2019.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- They came out in the rain and then squeezed into Siddiq's Water Ice shop near the corner of 60th and Spruce, looking not just for shelter but for a job.

Francine Johnson of Southwest Philadelphia said, "I'm excited. I've been out of the work field for a little bit dealing with certain things, but I'm ready now so I'm excited to get called next week."

This is the first night of a new program called "Turning A New Corner," spearheaded by a Philadelphia police officer in the Southwest Division.

The goal is to bring hiring employers to heavily populated street corners.

Philadelphia Police Officer G. Lamar Stewart said, "We believe part of reducing crime and addressing social issues in the community is job opportunities."

And the employers here don't just have openings, they're also willing to consider applicants with a criminal record.

Employers like the Fresh Grocer.

"By bringing the employers into the neighborhood we can meet the individuals where they feel comfortable. And then also as an employer in the community it shows them we're willing to meet them where they are, so we can continue to grow as a whole," said Ian Smith of the Fresh Grocer.

Ali Pankel of Southwest Philadelphia said, "It ain't easy for us to find jobs because we don't have the finances to get to the jobs or cell phones or internet, things like that."

"I think this is important and I think it needs to happen more. The reason why people struggle is that they don't have opportunities and sometimes they don't have accessibility to those opportunities," said Brice Patterson of West Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Police will continue to hold this traveling job fair on the first Friday of each month, and they'll choose different street corners each time in hopes of reaching as many prospective employees as possible.


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