Old felony still blocks woman from getting a job - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Old felony still blocks woman from getting a job

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

A woman is upset that a felony she committed in 2008 seems to be the only thing keeping her from a job.

According to 32-year-old Kimberly Pickett, it just keeps getting in the way.

"I was young and everybody goes through a past and nobody is perfect but I'm learning from my past," she said.

It's a felony charge for false statements, almost eight years ago.

"It always comes back," she continued. "Okay, you're going to hire me, but once you check my background, there's the problem. I don't get the job."

She now receives letters from employers saying they can't hire her because of it.

"When i get that letter, it's like, negative [feelings] just come all over me, because it's like I'm trying to do it and I'm not given the opportunity and it hurts," Pickett said.

But her problem is more common than people might think, and that's where the Georgia Department of Labor steps in.

"I'm assisting ex-offenders to gain employment, assisting them with how to get past the background and gain employment," said Alan Moore with the department.

Through federal programs like Top Step, employers get insurance and tax credits when hiring ex-offenders, and websites like employgeorgia.com help anyone with the job search.

"It's getting their foot in the door, you've got people who have skills, knowledge, education, and it's about getting their foot in the door," Palmer said.

Along with preparing ex-offenders, the Georgia Department of Labor advertises at local job fairs and also sponsors some throughout the year for the community.

It's an opportunity Pickett was excited to learn about.

"I will go on and look because it might be something that can help me out you know, and not make me feel so bad," she said.

For more information or to set up an appointment you can call or visit the Valdosta's Department of Labor Office at (229) 333-5211.

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