WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A fresh start. That might be the only thing you need to get on the road to a better life. Support The Port brought together many local organizations at Morning Glory Coffee House to help give people just that.
Fresh Chance Friday allowed attendees to get more information about career development programs and speak with prospective employers.
“We wanted to be able to provide job readiness, assistance to people in the community who’s having challenges with getting back into the workforce because of various barriers they may have,” StepUp Wilmington employment counselor Bruce Grant said.
As a Wilmington native, Support The Port executive director Cedric Harrison wants to help those who are dealing with similar struggles to what he grew up with.
“Wilmington is who made me, who raised me, I know that it takes a village,” Harrison said. “I guess I had a bit of survivor’s remorse, once I was able to get out of the situation that I was born into. I wanted to come and help some of my other people that I know are dealing with the same struggles that I deal with too.”
People could also learn about the process to determine eligibility to expunge a criminal record.
Grant was in jail for 29 years in New York. He says a crime should not disqualify a candidate from a job.
“If the person has turned his life around and he has the specific skillset that you need, he can be, not only a good employee, but a role model for other employees that face similar challenges that they have already overcome,” Grant said.
Harrison says in the three times this event has been held, he has heard plenty of success stories.
“People who have just been inspired to go down that right path and this is one of those things that helped them make that first step,” Harrison said.
Friday’s event is not the only way that Support The Port is reaching out to the community.
They will partner with Nourish NC to host a pop-up farmers market next Saturday at the corner of 8th and Greenfield Streets. It’s intended to give some free nutritious food to those who are without a grocery store in the wake of the Everybody’s Supermarket fire last month.