Save Our Sons Connects People with Jobs at Employment Fair

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share via Email
News item

Save Our Sons Connects People with Jobs at Employment Fair

Posted: 05/03/2017
Save Our SonsMorningside Community Center was the place to be on Thursday, April 27, if you were looking for employment. More than 150 people attended the Morningside Community Center Job Fair hosted by the City of Knoxville’s Save Our Sons initiative to find jobs, receive help preparing their resumes, and get assistance with background checks and record expungement.

“Save Our Sons is committed to removing barriers to employment. Finding a sustainable job is an important component for a happy and productive life,” said Save Our Sons Outreach Manager Kevin Perry. “We partnered with Stan Johnson and Rick Held at SEEED (Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development) to bring resources and opportunities directly to the community.”

Save Our Sons (SOS) developed a survey and contracted with SEEED to conduct a campaign to find out employment needs as well as barriers to employment for East Knoxville residents. SEEED trained young people and embarked on a two-week door-knocking operation to find out what residents would like to see offered at a job fair. In addition to conducting the survey, campaign participants informed residents about local events and services that empower and benefit the community. 

Representatives of Goodwill Industries, Knoxville Area Urban League, Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB), Denny’s, Newell (Rubbermaid), and Crowne Plaza were in attendance, ready to offer employment to qualified candidates. Newell (Rubbermaid) hired several people on the spot.

“Rubbermaid is always looking for good employees and appreciates Save Our Sons for inviting our company to be part of this important jobs initiative,” said Chris Parks, Branch Manager of @Work Personnel Services. “We placed five on the spot and are processing many more. We don’t want to be employers only but also good stewards of our community who are improving the lives of the members of our community.”

Also on hand were representatives of the University of Tennessee College of Law and the Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law Office to assist with record expungement. Knoxville Area Urban League and representatives from the State of Tennessee Mobile Career Coach helped prepare resumes, conduct mock interviews and assist with job-readiness skills.

“Let’s be real: A prison record or felony – even a misdemeanor conviction – greatly lowers ex-offenders’ prospects in the labor market,” Perry explained. “Despite paying their debt to society, ex-offenders are stigmatized upon re-entering their communities. Save Our Sons hosted this event to help provide answers, second chances and opportunities to reduce recidivism. Providing people with jobs leads to better economies, lower crime rates and stronger families and communities. That’s part of the SOS initiative.”

In 2013, Mayor Rogero joined with mayors across the country in a Cities United initiative to eliminate violence-related deaths among boys and young men of color and to increase opportunities for their success. 

Since its inception, Save Our Sons has worked with local area non-profits and organizations to address persistent opportunity gaps and to eliminate violence-related deaths among boys and young men of color.

Save Our Sons will host another job fair Wednesday, May 24, 6-8 p.m. at Austin-East High School. 

“We (SOS) are in the business of improving life outcomes of our young men and boys of color,” said Community Relations Director Avice Reid. “Their successes are everyone’s successes.” 

For more information regarding the Save Our Sons initiative, visit the website at KnoxvilleTN.gov/SOSKnoxville, or contact Avice Reid at 865-215-2536, Kevin Perry at 865-215-2589, or Tatia Harris at 865-215-2831.