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Having a criminal record can limit a person's career options severely, but it doesn't have to be the end of the road.

The New Life Career Prep and Job Fair is a two-day event being held this week specifically for people with criminal convictions who are hunting for jobs with local companies.

The event kicks off at 9 a.m. today at the Tennessee Career Center in the Eastgate Town Center. The first event is a mandatory career prep day designed to help participants with resumes, establishing an email account and interview skills. Participants will receive free haircuts and professional clothing, if needed.

Tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., businesses interested in hiring workers with less-than-perfect pasts will have the opportunity to meet participants and talk about opportunities at their businesses.

This is the second such event organized in Chattanooga this year and is sponsored by Father to the Fatherless, the city of Chattanooga, and the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

"The City of Chattanooga and its community partners are determined to make sure the participants leave with the knowledge and skills to gain employment," wrote Marissa Bell, a city spokeswoman, in a news release.

"After the first New Life Job Fair earlier this year, 16 participants landed full-time jobs with various employers," she wrote.

The event is almost at capacity with 50 people expected to show up, so seating is limited. Participants with questions about the event are encouraged to call 423-643-6702.

Contact staff writer Emmett Gienapp at egienapp@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6731. Follow him on Twitter @emmettgienapp.

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