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South Bend 'empowerment' event connects residents with jobs, resource opportunities

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- “Gives those folks an opportunity to kind of do some research and see what is available in their own backyard,” said Nick Pittman, Neighborhood Empowerment Fair organizer.

That was Thursday’s mission for organizers with the Neighborhood Empowerment Fair in downtown South Bend. Local businesses and agencies showcased their specialties so people can take advantage of what’s available.

The Empowerment Fair gave locals a chance to find out about employment opportunities as well as educational opportunities but also to research community resources.

“Sometimes there’s some great community resources out there and some great companies and employers but people just don’t know what’s exactly here,” said Pittman.

The fair comes just one day after Mayor Buttigieg rolled out a look at the city-wide budget with a big focus on quality of life in the city’s neighborhoods, something Pittman is keeping in mind too.

“There’s people that have lived in the city of South Bend and don’t really know what’s available and how they could improve the quality of life within their neighborhoods,” said Pittman.

Proud of his roots on the west side of South Bend, Marshall Emerson says it’s events like this that remind him of how far the city has come.

“See, South Bend is really developing into kind of a futuristic, high IT, very resourceful. We offer so much here when it comes to, how can I put it, the future!” Emerson

He’s also happy to see the attention to his neighborhood.

“I know that we need to start redeveloping that community and start buying more homes and improving the homes. So we’re doing some powerful things, or THEY are doing some powerful things,” said Emerson.

Thursday was a test pilot for more fairs to come in the future. Organizers expect to create a summer series of these empowerment fairs throughout South Bend. They tell ABC 57 News they’re looking to hit the south side of the city next. Stick with ABC 57 news for more on that.

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