Local organization looks to diversify the workfoce

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- As a way to diversify the workforce and help reduce crime, Rebuild Rockford is working with local companies to help hire people who have a hard time finding jobs because of their criminal record.

More than 30 people signed up for a chance at a construction apprenticeship. Organizers say many people who have felonies on their record want to get a job but find it difficult. Jake Castanza from Project First Rate spoke to potential job seekers about opportunities they can get even with their criminal backgrounds, as a way to start fresh.

“It’s a win-win all the way around because we get minorities off the streets who have records, who want to work, can't work, and here they get a chance to work. After the 12 to 18 people who go through the program, for the first 90 days, then they'll look at bringing in another 12 to 18 people,” said John Tac Brantley with Renewal Turning Point Program.

Those interested in the program will have a chance to interview for a potential job in the upcoming weeks. Organizers are hoping this program will help keep people off the streets and put a dent in crime.