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STURTEVANT — The unemployment rate for people who were once incarcerated is more than 27%. That’s higher than the total U.S. unemployment during the Great Depression, according to an analysis from the Prison Policy Initiative.

On a local level, public and private organizations are working together to bring that number down by helping local employers connect with potential employees.

Scheduled for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19, the second annual Southeast Wisconsin Re-entry Employer Expo will be at Gateway Technical College’s SC Johnson iMET Center, 2320 Renaissance Boulevard. At the free event, employers are invited to stop in and receive information about how they can help people getting out of prison reintegrate back into their community, while also finding potentially indispensable employees.

“This event aims to fill two needs: helping employers find qualified workers and helping the formerly incarcerated find jobs,” Racine County Communications Manager Mark Schaaf said in an email.

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“Events such as this — connecting employers with agencies that provide work-ready candidates — are a good step toward reducing recidivism and increasing safety and prosperity in Southeastern Wisconsin,” Racine County District Attorney Patricia Hanson said in a statement.

At the expo, businesses with experience employing the formerly incarcerated, governmental agencies, community groups and faith leaders will be available to answer questions and work with employers.

To register to attend, go to re-entryexpo2019.eventbrite.com. Registration is not required.

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