Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Local News

April 11, 2014

Aiming for Success gives ex-felons skills for future

Felons hope new laws will help their job search

William Sears wishes there was some way to remove some of his prison tattoos.

The 38-year-old father of two has spent the past four years re-acclimating to life on the outside, but people get a look at some of his tats, especially the teardrop below his right eye, and they make judgments.

“My tattoos and not having a real firm job history,” he replied, when asked what obstacles he faces in trying to land steady employment.

There’s no doubt Sears, who came to a job fair at Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church Wednesday with his wife, Tonya, has done some things he regrets.

But he’s also done his time and he’s removed himself from the California gang life he grew up with. As a further step, he’s just completed a 10-week training program offered by Kokomo’s Gilead House called Aiming for Success.

Aiming for Success isn’t so much a job training program — although it has a component on resume writing and interviewing — as much as it is a re-entry program for offenders, Gilead House director Reba Harris explained.

“We try to teach some of the soft skills — communication, and the importance of relationships and of family,” Harris said. “There’s anger management — how to control their comments and handle conflict. The goal is to help them become more employable.”

Sears, soft-spoken with a deep voice, frankly admits he’d love to be able to get into a job situation where no one knew about his criminal past.

That anonymity could happen sooner rather than later, thanks to changes in Indiana’s laws. Under Indiana’s Second Chance Law, offenders can now petition to have their convictions expunged from the state’s central criminal history repository.

That means employers wouldn’t be able to spot an expunged conviction on a limited criminal background check and now have to rephrase application questions.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • More charges filed in attempted murder case Additional charges of criminal recklessness and pointing a firearm were filed today in the case against a 17-year-old arrested Tuesday stemming from a shooting on the city's north east side. Kokomo police arrested the teen identified as Treyshon Bank

    August 20, 2014

  • Truckers on Strike Local 135 strikes against trucking company Members of Teamsters Local Union 135 went on strike Wednesday morning against Diamond Trucking Inc. after new contract negotiations broke down Tuesday night. Thirty-eight members of Diamond Trucking, which hauls materials for Kokomo Gravel to places

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS KT 082114 Western site plan Western seeks public input on athletic facility renovations RUSSIAVILLE — For the third month in a row, the main topic of Western School Corp. board of education meeting was a face lift for school facilities. The board held two public hearings before a regular meeting Tuesday to gain input on two stages of th

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Greatest Save brings Major Leaguers to Kokomo Community First Bank Executive Vice President Bob Hickman saw first hand the great benefits and excitement the Greatest Save program brought to the community of Evansville the last two years. He watched as Major League Baseball legends like Rollie Fi

    August 20, 2014

  • Indiana told to honor other states' gay marriages INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Indiana must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, but says the ruling doesn't take effect until the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules on the issue. U.S. District Judge R

    August 20, 2014

  • EHS Renovations 04 Eastern's $14 million renovation project nearing completion GREENTOWN – As Eastern Howard School Corp. nears the end of a two-year construction project, the majority of the $14 million renovation is not readily apparent.Much of the work has centered on replacing the heating, ventilation and air conditioning s

    August 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • SECOND UPDATE: Teen to face adult charges in Monday shooting

    A 17-year-old arrested for attempted murder Monday evening will face the charge as an adult.Treshon Banks is accused of involvement in a shooting incident near Studebaker Park off East Elm Street.A Kokomo Police Department custody report stated

    August 20, 2014

  • NWS KT 082014 Rick Rhodes Kokomo man wins Hoosier Millionaire Championship INDIANAPOLIS — Kokomo man Rick Rhodes took the top spot on Saturday night's 25th Anniversary Championship Hoosier Millionaire Show at the Indiana State Fair. Rhodes stopped short of becoming the Hoosier Millionaire Show's 192nd millionaire, but he wa

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Data breach affects Dukes Memorial Hospital PERU — Dukes Memorial Hospital was one of nine Indiana hospitals affected by Monday's data breach at Community Health Systems. Community Health Systems — which is not affiliated with Community Health Network, the Indianapolis-based healthcare provide

    August 19, 2014

  • Smoking ordinance mostly unchanged heading to first reading The draft of an ordinance that would eliminate smoking in all enclosed public places largely went untouched during committee review as it heads for a first reading before the Kokomo Common Council on Monday. The ordinance didn’t come without its fair

    August 19, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Deadly Landslides in Japan Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Arrests Witnessed in Ferguson Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.