The residents of the city of Jemison, Alabama got a chance to see the creative side of Judicial Correction Services this April as JCS and the city took on the task of hosting a free career fair. “I approached Mayor Eddy Reed with the idea of a community career fair and he embraced the idea with full force,” said Steven Raymond, the Jemison office manager and creative guide behind the event. Raymond was then invited to present the idea to the city council, which not only endorsed the project but offered to host the event at the city municipal complex at no charge and provided city employees to set up the vendor tables. They also helped to spread word of the event through the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce. According to a local paper, the Clanton Advertiser, Mayor Reed told Raymond, “Your judicial correction facility has been a big plus to the city of Jemison. This is an awesome service you’re rendering.”
“A large number of local businesses were represented, along with numerous area employers including the greater Birmingham area,” said Raymond. The fair also included large interactive displays from the City of Clanton Fire Department, the Jemison Police Department, and the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office, and recruiters for education and all four branches of the military. The Veteran’s Administration was on hand to ensure local veterans and wounded warriors were receiving all of the assistance they were eligible for and help them navigate the system. “The most rewarding aspect is when all was said and done…to walk into the Municipal complex full of vendors and the large turn out and participation by the schools and community,” added Raymond.
The results were greatly a result of countless hours of cold calling and negotiations. “In this age of automated phone answering systems, I found it very difficult to actually speak with a body,” noted Raymond. The Jemison Judicial Correction Services team delved into every imaginable local contact they could produce to find a way into the correct person at each business. Raymond recognized probation officer Sara Martin for her efforts and dedication to the career fair’s success.
This was the first career fair held by the Jemison office and they have learned a great deal about organizing such events, working with their local government counterparts, and thinking creatively for the community. This office is a praiseworthy example of how a probation organization can try something new for the good of the community at large and will be encouraging others to take on new challenges as well.
To see the article in The Clanton Advertiser, click here.