Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Profile: Dennis Dunn, director of job development, Atlanta Enterprise Center

Posted By on Tue, Sep 4, 2007 at 1:18 PM

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Through his work with the Atlanta Enterprise Center, Dennis Dunn helps ex-convicts and homeless find and get employment. In the last five years, AEC has helped more than 2,200 people obtain self-sufficiency through job training and placement. In October, AEC will celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Dunn encourages ex-cons to utilize the skills they learned in prison or from their criminal backgrounds to help them in the workforce. “There’s a job for everyone,” Dunn says.

“Just tell them you can handle money in a fast-paced environment and you have great customer-service skills.” That was Dunn’s advice to a former prostitute and stripper interviewing for a cashier position.

“[The advice] was kind of in left field, but the point is everybody has some kind of skills. What we try to do is talk to them about it.”

“I told this one woman, ‘You couldn’t go [to an interview] dressed the way you are because you’re just way too flashy.’ She said, ‘That’s not fair,’ and I said, ‘Fare is what you pay to get on a bus. There’s nothing fair out there.’”

The average hourly wage for the jobs obtained by AEC clients is $9.

(Photo by Andisheh Nouraee)

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