He ‘gave up,’ but then St. Vincent de Paul put him back on track with a job

PITTSBURG — James Neitte clearly isn’t the shy, retiring type, but he looked down at the floor as he said — voice trailing off — he was “in a bad spot” last spring. Then a friend handed him a flier for the St. Vincent de Paul Workforce Development Program.

With skills in construction, Neitte was a finalist for several jobs over the past few years, but a felony conviction in 2011 on firearms charges, and six months served in the Contra Costa County Jail, ultimately torpedoed him. Some of those employers, he said, were brutally honest about that.

“I just gave up applying,” said Neitte, a Pinole resident. “My confidence was below zero.”

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