Community Convo helps people with criminal records find employment

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Alfreda McLean heard about Community Convo on Facebook.

She went to the event not expecting to share her story.

Bryan Johnson, CEO of Johnson’s Second Chance Staffing, asked her to come to the front of a room full of people and share her story.

McLean was a high school honor student and a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University.

She says she started selling drugs to pay her way through college. Later, she would pay a price.

“I was incarcerated for eight, almost nine years in federal prison for a drug charge,” McLean said.

She says it didn’t take long for her to learn her lesson.

“If I had thought about what me getting locked up would do to my family, I never would have done what I did,” she said.

The day she attended the Community Convo session was the first time she shared her story publicly.

Johnson’s Second Chance Staffing is an agency that helps people find employment with an emphasis on helping people with a criminal record.

“We also want to help stop recidivism. We want to bring families back together. We also want to make our streets safe for you, me, and everyone else and the only way we can do that is by employing people who need it, who want to change their lives,” Johnson said.

Community Convo is an opportunity for people to come in and learn about employment opportunities and the skills necessary to succeed in the workplace.

The sessions are in a group environment and include confidence building, mock interviews and speakers to provide encouragement.

Encouraging young adults to stay out of trouble is a big part of why McLean shared her story.

“If I can just help one person that was where I was at to keep them from going through what I had to go through, it’ll mean everything,” she said.

Community Convo is every Tuesday at Johnson’s Second Chance Staffing from 9:15 a.m. to noon at 315 S. Westgate Drive in Greensboro.