Thomasville Times Enterprise

December 17, 2013

Program to help ex-offenders find jobs offered

Staff report

THOMASVILLE — Finding a job can be a difficult task for many people, but especially those who have been incarcerated.

A presentation will be held at the Thomas County Library in the Flipper room on Thursday at 1:30 p.m., Jan. 2, at 2 p.m. and Jan. 7, at 4 p.m. It is designed for ex-offenders who are having difficulties finding jobs.

The independent Out Reach Program is designed to show people how they can own a business and how businesses can help them grow. When people come to the presentation, the organizers ask that they bring a background check showing their convictions.

“We don’t want to turn anyone away, but there are certain rules,” said Tarquidea Burgess, event organizer.

Former offenders often have a difficult time getting back on their feet and starting over. That was one of Burgess’s main reasons for wanting to hold a job presentation for them.

Burgess said, “I thought about it because so many convicted felons are trying to get jobs. It’s a way to keep them from the streets. So many times because they can’t find jobs, they are forced back on to the streets and in trouble again.”

The presentation is also designed to help them not be singled out because of their mistakes.

“We don’t want them to feel singled out. They are trying to turn their lives around. That’s what this program is about. It will help the community and I love helping the community,” added Burgess.

Burgess also hopes the community will latch on to the idea of putting ex-offenders into the workplace.

She said, “I feel this event is bigger than me. We need something like this. Everyone makes mistakes. We need to try to help others. If we have the information, why not share it?”

For more information on the Out Reach Program, contact Tarquidea Burgess at (229) 236-0680 or Shagarie Thomas at (229) 384-6931.