Approximately 25 people showed up to receive applications and speak to potential employers during a Thursday morning job fair held for the homeless community. Those who held the event said the turnout and communication from those seeking work made for a positive, worthwhile experience.
Gov. Andy Beshear’s most recent COVID-19-related restrictions caused cancellations from a few of the temporary agencies scheduled to appear at the job fair, held at the Daniel Pitino Shelter.
DeMarcus Curry, president of the Owensboro Youth Empowerment Summit (OYES) said three of the five temp agencies made the difficult decision to bypass the event. However two local temp agencies and Owensboro Community & Technical College either showed up in-person or provided pamphlets and applications to those seeking jobs or secondary education services.
“Due to what happened (with the restrictions), they couldn’t be here,” Curry said. “I definitely understand that. You just have to do what you have to do. I was surprised at the number of people who showed up because I wasn’t really sure what to expect.”
Curry, whose own career evolved from temp work to a full-time career, said his experience resonated with many of the individuals who showed up Thursday. He described the conversations he had as positive and enlightening for those who listened to his personal success story.
“I think after I told them my little testimony, it gave them a little hope,” he said. “They now think they can get something out of it.”
Owensboro Public Schools board member Michael Johnson showed up to support and help Curry at the event. One of the most important things OYES achieved at the job fair, Johnson said, was taking the initiative to connect with others in a real, empathetic way.
“Homeless people getting jobs, that’s one of the most important things they can do,” Johnson said. “It gets their self-esteem up and they feel better about themselves. It’s a really good thing that DeMarcus and his organization are doing.”