Training programs give ex-prisoners a chance at landing a job
- Training organizations are helping ex-convicts get past the stigma attached to having a criminal past and preparing them for the workforce, writes Fortune.
- Examples abound: Richard Bronson, a former Wall Street broker and ex-felon, has launched a for-profit recruiting firm specializing in finding work for ex-felons. Rowdy Orbit Impact, a coding bootcamp, trains African-American and Latino ex-prisoners for programming and tech jobs, placing them in positions that could pay as much as $40,000 a year.
- Nearly half (48%) of employers' applications still have questions about past convictions, according to a 2017 survey by Sterling Talent Solutions.
As economists point out, ex-prisoners would struggle finding a job in an employers' market — which is certainly not what recruiters are working with in early 2018. In fact, the group is one of the most commonly overlooked talent pools in the workforce.
Recent legal developments have made the search much easier for ex-convicts; over 150 cities and states have enacted "ban the box" laws (most recently in Maryland). The ordinances, which ban questions about past criminal convictions on job applications, have earned support from a bipartisan group of lawmakers and governors, although some governors have issued vetoes.
Many ex-prisoners studied while in prison and worked toward educational achievements, while others have learned skilled trades during their incarceration. The movement to improve their chances of landing a job even extends to third party providers like Glassdoor, which announced in October that it would ban job posts on its site that discriminate against applicants with criminal records.