Bridging Barriers: Jobs & Hope WV’s Inaugural Second Chance Job Fair Aims to Empower Future Opportunities

BECKLEY, W.Va. – Jobs & Hope WV aims to bridge barriers and empower futures by connecting employers and workers during the inaugural Second Chance Job Fair in Beckley on Wednesday, November 8, 2023. The event will bring job seekers, employers, and community resource partners to the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center (200 Armory Drive, Beckley) for the daylong event. 

Jobs & Hope WV is the state’s comprehensive response to the substance use disorder crisis, and was established by Governor Jim Justice and the West Virginia Legislature. Key partners, including the West Virginia Schools of Diversion and Transition, the West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services, The REACH Initiative, WorkForce West Virginia, local Workforce Development boards, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office (districts) will be attending the Second Chance Job Fair.  

The challenges facing West Virginia are two-fold as businesses grapple with labor shortages and supply chain disruptions, while individuals working to overcome substance use disorders, complete criminal sentences, or seek new career paths encounter obstacles in securing stable employment. The Second Chance Job Fair aims to bridge this gap by connecting employers with motivated and skilled individuals who are seeking to re-enter the workforce. This innovative event not only addresses labor market disparities but also contributes to the betterment of West Virginia families and the overall economy. 

“We all make mistakes, but that should not deny us an opportunity to redeem ourselves,” Gov. Justice said. “This fair is designed to help people get back on their feet and find good-paying work. I am grateful to our Jobs & Hope WV team for continuing to improve the lives of West Virginians. Let us all continue supporting each other and giving people the second chance they deserve.” 

Registration for this event is open to all interested participants and there is no cost associated with attendance. 

The event begins at 10 a.m. with a traditional job fair format, enabling job seekers to engage with potential employers and identify positions aligned with their educational background, training and skill set. At noon, employers and community resource partners are invited to a networking lunch, featuring insights from local leaders and statewide representatives on the significance of re-entry and employer incentives. The lunch session will also spotlight available resources for employers within their respective communities. The Second Chance Job Fair will transition to open interviews at 1 p.m., facilitating direct interactions between employers and job seekers, a critical step towards mutual success. The event is scheduled to conclude at 3 p.m. 

“This is a great chance for employers to connect with skilled candidates and for job seekers to find rewarding work in the Raleigh County area,” said Lead Jobs & Hope Transition Agent Deb Harris. “Second Chance Job Fairs showcase the commitment that fellow West Virginians have made to overcome barriers and to find meaningful employment.”  

In an effort to support job seekers, volunteers will be on-site to assist with résumé preparation and printing. Furthermore, professional headshots are available to registered job seekers, employers, community resource partners and volunteers, enhancing the overall job-seeking experience. 

To register for the Second Chance Job Fair, please visit the official Jobs & Hope WV website, access our social media channels, or use the following link: Second Chance Job Fair – Jobs and Hope ( 

For media inquiries, please contact Matthew Holstein, Strategic Relations Agent, Jobs & Hope WV at 

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