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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Felon with experience needs a Job

Felon with experience needs a Job

Are employers finally giving felons a second chance?
I'm a felon, convicted of mortgage fraud in 2005. My charge stems from a 1998 business deal and resulted in 5 years probation. I've accepted my situation and remained gainfully employed through my small business until 2009. Now, small business owners are subject to background checks before being awarded government contract. All small business certifications require background checks on the owner before the certification is granted.

Needless to say, my contracting career is over even though I have 13 years of outstanding references from government agencies. Every contact I have will say their hands are tied when it comes to hiring a company whose owner has a felony conviction. I had to shut down my business (53 employees) and look for work. I hold a master of science in technology management and a master of business administration and I have over 20 years of IT experience.

I have been looking for a job since February 2009. After posting my resume online, I get 4 to 5 responses a week. I disclose my situation during the telephone interview and it goes not further. Most companies will say it's their policy not to hire anyone with a felony conviction. Unfortunately, in the Washington DC area, every job now requires a background check - even McDonalds.

 
After much research, I found the Second Chance Act of 2007. The Second Chance Act is designed to improve outcomes for felons returning to communities from prisons and jails via employment assistance, housing, mentoring, etc. Well, the Second Chance Act does not apply to felons that received probation. As a felon that has paid my debt, improved myself through education, and function as a law abiding citizen, I am not given a second chance. I currently receive unemployment compensation, which is 1/3 of what I need to cover mortgage, electricity, water, phone and food. I am absolutely one step from homeless and hungry (with 2 masters degrees). Any suggestions? 

Regards,

Homeless in D.C.



Felon with experience needs a Job



 
Hello Homeless,

Ex-offenders and felons with skills and experience are in far better shape than those without. You simply have to be more creative about how to employ your skills.

Firstly, I suggest contacting smaller independent IT contractors. You could subcontract through them and not be subject to the same scrutiny as primary contractors. Get the telephone book and get to work. There has to be at least a few that could have a job for you.


Companies are given a $2400 tax credit for hiring felons and there is a Federal Bonding Program for at-risk (felon) employees.  See the link below for information about the Work Opportunity Tax Credit

WOTC


Jobs for Ex-offenders and Felons: The Federal Bonding Program



 
Secondly, I suggest considering starting a small business setting up home computers and networks. In this day and age, people buy computers (often more than one,) but don't how to set them up or connect them to each other. you could start with just a few flyers. Just a 

suggestion.




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Felon with experience needs a Job

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Felon with experience needs a Job

 

Felon with experience needs a Job


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