JusticeWorks Dauphin County is no stranger to community engagement. With the many programs JusticeWorks operates in the surrounding area, staff identified a need to connect our community partners to youth and families that were seeking employment. An idea created by FRS, Calvin Gilchrist was to bring the community together by creating a Job Fair opportunity.
In a remarkable display of community collaboration and inclusivity, Dauphin County JusticeWorks hosted a highly successful Career Fair this summer, opening its doors not just to a select group, but to the entire community. The event, which drew local employers, organizations, and job seekers alike, showcased the power of unity in creating opportunities and fostering positive change. JusticeWorks was proud to embrace and create this event!

A Diverse Array of Employers:
Mission BBQ, Foot Locker, Staples, Dauphin County Leadership, Penn State, and the local Army Recruiters were among the many employers (including JusticeWorks!) that participated, providing a diverse range of career opportunities for attendees. This amalgamation of employers from different sectors underscored the fair’s commitment to offering a wide spectrum of job options to suit various skills and interests.
The presence of well-known corporations like Foot Locker and Staples not only offered traditional retail roles but also highlighted the importance of part-time employment for students or those seeking flexible working arrangements. Meanwhile, the participation of Dauphin County, Central Dauphin School District, Harrisburg Area Community College and Penn State emphasized the significance of government and educational institutions in shaping local employment landscapes. The local Army Recruiters, on the other hand, showcased the potential for individuals to pursue unique career paths within the armed forces. We thank all of our community partners that participated that included: Central Dauphin School District, Harrisburg Area Community College, Once Upon a Child Clothing Store, UPMC Pinnacle, Value City Furniture and Member’s First Credit Union.

An Inclusive Approach:
What truly set this Career Fair apart was its inclusive approach. Unlike many job fairs that are exclusive to certain groups, JusticeWorks’ fair was open to the entire community, regardless of background or circumstances. This open-door policy demonstrated our dedication to providing equal opportunities for all, irrespective of whether they were clients of specific agencies or not.
A particularly noteworthy outcome was the fair’s success in connecting individuals currently on probation or parole with employers willing to hire individuals with diverse backgrounds. This achievement speaks volumes about the commitment of the employers to breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes. By facilitating connections between those seeking a fresh start and employers willing to give them that chance, the fair contributed to transforming lives and reshaping narratives.

Looking Ahead:
The impact of the Career Fair extends far beyond its immediate success. It serves as a beacon of hope and a blueprint for future JusticeWorks endeavors aimed at bridging gaps and providing opportunities to all. The event’s inclusive model is a reminder that no one should be defined solely by their past and that communities flourish when they come together to uplift and empower one another. Be on the lookout for our next event!

Above is a picture (courtesy of Charles .H.) of the JusticeWorks team and their participation in the event. We are proud to have partnered with each of these organizations!

#jobfair #community #WhateverItTakes #communityengagement #careerfair #partnership #dauphincounty