Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Delaware Center for Justice hosts first annual "Jobbeque" to help probationers find jobs

Delaware Public Media

Probationers came out to Cherry Lane Probation and Parole in New Castle County this week for a second-chance job fair.

The Delaware Center for Justice and Cherry Lane Probation and Parole hosted its first annual “spring jobbeque,” a hiring resources event for people currently on parole looking for a job. At least 20 employers set up for on-site interviews with probationers, most with specific second-chance initiatives.

HR corporate recruiter for Sobieski, a family-owned HVAC and plumbing company, Aida Reyes, says their Hope Program is a way for them to give back.

“We have entry-level positions and I think allowing these guys to have an opportunity to get back into the workforce is very important," Reyes says.

Code Differently offers coding training for youth and adults, and Community Engagement Manager Jamar Taylor says giving probationers access to higher-paying jobs also helps stimulate the local economy.

Probation and Parole Supervisor Loren Sullivan says having a job is pivotal to reentry success. She notes housing is a large barrier for probationers, which they can’t afford or apply for without a steady income.

“Coming from an officer to a supervisor, you can see a complete attitude change," Sullivan says. "There’s so much more motivation, a lot of our population is just excited that somebody believes in them enough to actually hire them and put their name behind them.”

One probationer from Wilmington at the event says he’s found housing but needs a job to pay the rent.

“It’s gonna help me out because it’s going to keep me motivated, keep me staying out of trouble, so hopefully I can just find something to get into," he says. "There’s a program called reentry and they actually helped get me into an apartment complex but I have to pay rent now.”

At least 60 probationers showed up for resources.

Rachel Sawicki was born and raised in Camden, Delaware and attended the Caesar Rodney School District. They graduated from the University of Delaware in 2021 with a double degree in Communications and English and as a leader in the Student Television Network, WVUD and The Review.