Before the doors opened at 9 a.m. last Saturday, people were lined up outside the New Chance Job Fair at Bethel New Life, co-sponsored by 37th Ward Ald. Emma Mitts. Among the companies present were: Walmart, Aldi’s, Food4Less, and Illinois Department of Children and Family Services’ youth summer jobs.

The businesses were taking on-the-spot applications. Ald. Mitts said she was elated to have so many people turn out for the fair.

“They were dressed for success,” she said. “They were very well-mannered. And the businesses are telling people, for a change, that they are hiring. Our community [previously] held job fairs in May or June, and that’s a little too late for our community. It’s too late for our children. We have to be the head and not the tail. So I’m working on the head to make sure we can get some of our young people to work and not only young people. It is amazing that we had the older generation here. I had a senior citizen here looking for a job. The businesses are excited to be here. If we can’t feed our community and help people put food on the table, then we need to go back and rethink how we really want to help them.”