The FBI hosted an employment workshop on Buffalo's East Side Thursday, as it looks to further diversify its workforce.
To help spread the word about its job opportunities, the FBI invited about 70 community leaders to First Shiloh Baptist Church for a recruitment workshop. Pastor Emory Brown of Refreshing Springs Church says familiarizing more people with what the FBI does can help start to improve the relationship between the community and law enforcement.
"Especially at a time like this, you know, when there's so many difficulties in the community and across the country, I think it's very important to be able to get facts and get insight and build relationships and bridges so that we can move forward as a country as a city," he says.
The goal of 24-year-old Stephanie Mejia is to become a special agent. Mejia, a social worker, says she thinks the FBI's effort to hire "more minorities is awesome."
"Because the more people you see that are similar to you in the community, the more people are willing to open up to you, if say you are in a situation where a crime has occurred and you can trust them," she says. "Like I think we definitely need more trust in the community between civilians and law enforcement and this is great that they're trying to reach out to minorities and others in the Buffalo community."
But it is not all law enforcement. In fact more than half of the FBI jobs are non-agent positions. Adam Cohen, Special Agent in Charge in Buffalo, says there are a variety of opportunities, including auto mechanics, IT specialists, intelligence analysts, linguists, scientists, accountants and more.
"So we have an entire range of positions available and we are encouraging people who desire to have a job with the FBI to look at our FBI jobs website and see what opportunities exist and whether or not they may be a suitable person to fill that position," he says.
Cohen says by reaching out to different areas of the community the FBI is trying to make sure it is best representative of the people it serves.