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Showing posts with label ex offender re-entry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ex offender re-entry. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Jobs for Felons: Social Media can Hurt your Job Search

Jobs for Felons: Social Media can Hurt your Job SearchSocial media has become a huge part of the lives of many people.  It's a great way to connect and network with others all over the world.  I recently made a presentation at job fair where I met employers that have hired felons or ex-offenders in the past.

I asked 30 of the 50 or so employers "Are there any new techniques employers use to screen potential employees?" The overwhelming response was that they check applicant's social media.  Employers have started to monitor a potential employee's social media as a fast and really alternative to expensive background checks.

It's hard enough getting a job with a criminal record.  There can be things on your social media accounts that can make getting jobs for felons even harder.  There are a lot of things that employers look for on social media that can ruin an applicant's chances at getting  hired.  Here are the main things that may catch an employers eye.


Unprofessional Screen Name or Profile - Like it or not, employers will judge you by your screen name so choose wisely.  Names like "Sexy Kitten" or "Big Daddy D" may sound cool for connecting but they really won't help you get a job.  In fact it may hurt your chances to get a job.  You can never go wrong using your own name.

Information about Alcohol or Drug Use - A weekend of hard partying may have been fun but posting about it may really turn employers off.  Pictures of you passed out or impaired may be funny but it won't be to someone who may have wanted to hire you.

Inappropriate Photos or Videos - Picture and video of lewd or provocative behavior posted anywhere is damaging.  Be careful of other people posting stuff with you in it.  This can be equally damaging.  Also be mindful of being photographed or recorded in any situation that may related to criminal behavior.  Being recorded with guns, gang members or drug paraphernalia may boost your street credibility but it will have the opposite effect on your ability to get a job.

Derogatory Comments Related to Religion, Race, Sexual Orientation or Gender - No matter what your personal views are about these subjects, spouting them in a negative way on social media will really make you look bad to an employer especially if personal offense is taken.
Posting these types of things on social media is bad enough but sharing these types of things posted y others will have the same effect.  Also anyone can take anything you have posted and share it.  Even if you have deleted it, negative posts may still alive and shared all over the internet so be careful.

Social media is a sign of the times. It can even be a lot of fun but bear in mind the effect that it may have on your job search.  There are employers that may hire ex-offenders and felons.  Your social media will make a difference to someone who wants to hire a professional mature minded person.  Keep it clean, keep it professional, keep it G-Rated and you should have no problem.


Jobs for Felons: Social Media can Hurt your Job Search


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Jobs for Felons: Social Media can Hurt your Job Search


Jobs for Felons: The Facts about Companies that Hire Ex offenders and Felons (2018)


Jobs for Felons: Five Places Felons Can Find Jobs - Get a Job Quickly!


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Jobs for Felons: Social Media can Hurt your Job Search


Eric Mayo

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Inmates who learn trades are often blocked from jobs. Now something's being done.

Inmates who learn trades are often blocked from jobs. Now something's being done.
Inmates talk while participating in the barber school program at the Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, Illinois on Feb. 11, 2014.Lathan Goumas / The Herald-News via AP

Half the states bar ex-cons from getting the occupational licenses they need to re-enter the workforce. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say it doesn't make sense.

by Adam Edelman / NBC News

Mike Grennan, a former convict who's getting by piecing together small construction gigs in Port Huron, Michigan, says he's paid his debt to society — but, when it comes to getting an occupational license to be a home-building contractor, he just can't outrun his criminal past.  That's because Michigan, like two dozen other states, has laws on the books that prevent ex-felons like Grennan from getting the professional licenses they need to work in a variety of blue-collar trades, including cutting hair, welding, doing makeup and cosmetics, construction and more.

"It really frustrates me. I have a really good work ethic, and I've paid my debt to society," said Grennan, 46, who has been in and out of state prison for chunks of his adult life, due to a series of convictions he said stem from an addiction to heroin.


Inmates who learn trades are often blocked from jobs. Now something's being done.
Mike Grennan finds work as a subcontractor for small projects in Port Huron, Mich., but he hasn't been able to get his occupational license to be a homebuilder because of his criminal past.Courtesy Mike Grennan

Now, a growing number of states are trying to bring down the barriers convicts face in re-entering the workforce after their release — and that includes a new raft of laws in recent months that have drawn bipartisan support and are aimed at making it easier for ex-cons to get occupational licenses in fields from which they were formerly barred because of their criminal pasts.

Since his 2013 release from Michigan's Jackson State Prison, where he served a three-year sentence on larceny and stolen property charges, Grennan has been blocked from getting his residential maintenance and alteration contractor's license — which he needs to legally work as a homebuilding/renovation contractor. That's because of "good moral character" clauses in Michigan law that essentially prohibit people with felony convictions from getting approved for more than 70 percent of occupational licenses granted by the state.

More than 70 million Americans with prior criminal records are facing similar barriers to re-entering the workforce, where 25 percent of all jobs require an occupational or professional license, according to the National Employment Law Project, a left-leaning workers rights nonprofit based in New York.
"You're looking at crisis in which a large proportion of the American public are just locked out of all sorts of jobs, which not only hurts them and their families, but creates a challenge for employers, often times in in-demand occupations that are looking for qualified workers," said Maurice Emsellem, NELP’s Fair Chance Program director.

The added irony, Emsellem and other experts said, is that so many others, in similar situations to Grennan, actually learned their trade in prison, where they were preparing to come out ready to find a job and re-enter society — only to find out that they can't.


Inmates who learn trades are often blocked from jobs. Now something's being done.
Inmates training to become commercial underwater divers receive classroom instruction at the California Institution for Men state prison in Chino, California. They are among those who can get the licenses they need to get jobs. Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg via Getty Images

"There's a lot training happening in construction and manufacturing inside prisons," Emsellem said. "People go through all this effort to reform themselves. And then they can't work when they get out. It's an extraordinary and powerful irony.”

This year, at least eight states have tried to fix the problem.  In March, Delaware Gov. John Carney, a Democrat, signed into law a measure removing some obstacles for former convicts seeking licenses in cosmetology, barbering, electrology, nail technology and aesthetics. Under the law, state licensing boards can no longer include convictions older than 10 years as part of their consideration process; and the waiting period prospective licensees must observe before applying for a waiver of a prior felony conviction was slashed to three years from five.

Weeks earlier, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, signed a similar bill that eliminated "good moral character" and "moral turpitude" clauses from licensing board requirements and forced boards to limit disqualifying crimes to those "specifically and directly" related to the profession in which the applicant was seeking a license.

Also that month, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican, signed bill mandating that occupational licensing boards render their decisions about whether past convictions would be considered disqualifying before applicants spend time and money on training and classes. Previously, applicants had to complete relevant training before even applying for their license.

Similar laws have gone into effect this year in Tennessee, Wyoming, Kansas, Maryland and Massachusetts. And since 2015 — following a set of best practices for state lawmakers published by the Obama White House regarding occupational licensing reform — at least seven other states have put laws on the books lessening licensing restrictions for applicants with criminal histories, according to the Institute for Justice, a libertarian-leaning public interest law firm.

The restrictions were originally enacted to increase public safety by ensuring that licensed tradespeople met high standards, experts said. But states that have maintained such obstacles to re-entering the workforce for former convicts have actually seen public safety harmed, according to a widely cited 2016 study by Arizona State University economics professor Stephen Slivinski, because the laws result in significantly higher rates of criminal recidivism. The study also found that states with fewer restrictions have lower rates of recidivism.

Even as bipartisan support in state capitals across the U.S. for reform is growing, not everyone's on board.  Bill Cobb, who now works as the deputy director for the ACLU's Campaign for Smart Justice, knows all about it.

In 1993, Cobb, then a 24-year-old college student in Philadelphia and a veteran of Operation Desert Storm, pleaded guilty to robbery, criminal conspiracy and kidnapping charges for driving the getaway car in a crime. After he served a six-year sentence at a Pennsylvania state prison, Cobb enrolled in a Philadelphia program that would set him up to get an occupation license for commercial truck driving.

"I took out thousands of dollar in loans, passed all the written exams," Cobb said, "only to find out that that I would not even be able to get a job driving as a result of not being able to get an occupational license."

Cobb later found work as a telemarketer before embarking on an advocacy career to help people who faced a similar predicament coming out of prison. "I did my time. I was ready to move on and live my life well," he said.

Pennsylvania has to date rejected substantial changes in its licensing laws.


Updated List of Companies that Hire Ex-offenders and Felons


Jobs for Felons: The Facts about Companies that Hire Ex offenders and Felons (2018)



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Eric Mayo

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Friday, May 4, 2018

Jobs for Felons: Give former felons a chance to work

J.T. Weis - The Detroit News


Jobs for Felons: Give former felons a chance to work
Picture by By https://kazan.vperemen.com/
At Abcor Industries we live out the triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit. This is driven by my faith, which teaches that all people are of equal value, redeemable and entitled to the dignity that God intended when he created us.

After years of working in the corporate world, my desire to live a more meaningful existence continued to grow. With that in mind, entrepreneurship was the path to pursue this goal and I acquired Abcor Industries in Holland, Michigan.



Abcor has the technology for powder coating wood and is leading the drive for innovating higher performing wood materials.

Owning Abcor allows us the freedom to make decisions which improve people’s lives and drive an enterprise that contributes to the betterment of the planet. Additionally, we support important nonprofit entities, institutions and schools.

As a senior manager at publicly traded companies, I wasn’t able to deploy a felon hiring strategy — or consider anyone with a criminal history. With Abcor, we are breaking the stigmas and helping change people’s lives.

More than half of our production employees have been convicted of felonies and have served long sentences, hence repaying their debt to society. My intention is to continue to do everything possible to ensure they are productive members of a dynamic entrepreneurial company.

Productive employment is the leading force in their personal mission to build a new successful life as a responsible tax paying citizen. Productive employment is the leading factor in reducing recidivism. We are an important component of their life recovery. They are a vital part of our success.

Recently, I was invited to a forum on the subject of hiring re-entering citizens. At first, it was very encouraging to see so many human resource executives interested and open to the practice. However, each of the executives had a common theme of being only interested in “light felony” applicants. This was clearly driven by a risk mitigation approach.

Toward the end of the forum, they asked me to opine on their approach. They were surprised by my response that short sentence “light felony” applicants had a higher fallout rate and were more difficult to manage. Those who have served the longer sentences are very motivated, highly loyal and committed to the mission.

Currently, we at Abcor and other employers are urging the Legislature to pass bills currently before the state House Law and Justice Committee that would remove some barriers to employment and require objective reasons for denying parole to low-risk prisoners.

Right now, there are too many who remain incarcerated and present the lowest risk to public safety. The law requires that denying parole to people who present the lowest risk to public safety can only be based on objective reasonings. Subjective parole denial is immoral, and it’s wrong. Not only is it counter to our values, it also wastes millions of taxpayer dollars annually on keeping these low-risk prisoners locked up.

There remains much more the state of Michigan can do to help. It should continue to expand vocational training during incarceration, implement laws and financial benefits for bridging organizations that help the released find employment, housing and transportation. In my view, the Department of Corrections could and should become a powerful force by investing in these systems and have a positive impact on workforce development.

Every year, nearly 10,000 people return from prison to Michigan communities. Many are unable to find employment due to their criminal records, even though many employers face a shortage of available workers. There exists a significant opportunity to do better.

Those in position to do so, should construct systems, laws and enterprises to set the groundwork for personal recovery. There is a major win-win for society available to us all and we need to act upon it.

J.T. Weis is the owner of Abcor Industries in Holland, Michigan.


Companies that hire Felons



From Jail to a Job




Jobs for Felons: Give former felons a chance to work



companies hire felons | companies that hire felons | Companies that hire ex-offenders | Employers that hire ex-offenders | employers that hire felons | Jobs for felons | jobs for ex-offenders | jobs that hire felons | places that hire felons | felon friendly jobs | felon friendly employers | how to get a job with criminal record | second chance jobs for felons | temp agencies that hire felons | high paying jobs for felons


Eric Mayo

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Jobs for Felons: Training programs give ex-prisoners a chance at landing a job

Jobs for Felons: Ex-felons face rough job prospects



Michael Harrington -Sandusky Register 

When four ex-offenders lost their jobs at a local Burger King, the area lost one of just a few felon-friendly employers.

One local business still willing to give felons a chance is Manny’s Car Wash on Cleveland Road. The car wash’s owner, Manny Jeffries, knows what many ex-convicts are going through having been through it himself.

Jeffries turned his life around and now owns two car washes: one on Cleveland Road in Sandusky and another on Justice Street in Fremont. He wants to help others do the same.

“Everybody deserves to get up and get another shot at life,” Jeffries said. Unfortunately, that second chance is denied to many felons looking for jobs elsewhere.

Research suggests that employment is an important aspect in ensuring ex-offenders don’t become repeat offenders. And employment is an important part of most ex-convicts’ re-entry into society.

“Barriers to employment are among the most counterproductive collateral sanctions that stem from criminal convictions. The inability to find employment hinders successful re-entry into communities,” said Jocelyn Rosnick, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio’s assistant policy director.

A National Institute of Justice study found at least 60 percent of ex-offenders are still unemployed a year after release, and ex-offenders are half as likely to get a call back from a prospective employer. And one in six Ohioans has a misdemeanor or felony conviction, according to Rosnick.

Even though excluding ex-convicts limits a large portion of the workforce, employers still seem hesitant to hire people with criminal backgrounds and most that do, have stipulations.

“The things that’s critical is some places will hire felons, but it depends on how long ago it was and how it relates to the job they are applying for,” said Karen Balconi Ghezzi, the director of Erie County Jobs and Family Services.

When employees with a criminal record reapplied to a Burger King on U.S. 250 (Milan Road) they found out the new owner, TOMS King, had a different hiring policy.

It turned them down because their past crimes showed something the company believed would make them ill-suited for the job.

But a movement has started to stop punishing ex-convicts for crimes they’ve already served time for and to start seeing them as possible employees.

“It’s important that employers recognize that anyone with a felony conviction should be looked at as a potential employee if there is evidence they have changed their way of life and they’re unlikely to recommit a crime,” Ghezzi said.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has introduced the Fair Chance Act in Congress that would ban the question on job applications asking if job-seekers have prior criminal convictions.

“Once people have served their time, they shouldn’t be blocked from earning a living,” Brown said.

The bill has bipartisan support and could usher in changes to how employers are allowed to request criminal history backgrounds from applicants.

Employer bias isn’t the only thing preventing ex-convicts from employment. Collateral sanctions, or legal penalties and disabilities unrelated to the initial offense, given to released prison inmates make it difficult for many ex-offenders to maintain a job once they have it.

A prime example of this is driving license suspensions that make it difficult for many ex-felons to make it to work on time.

“Taking away a person’s ability to drive – to get to and from work or to go out and apply for jobs – makes it even harder for people to get back on their feet,” Rosnick said. “It is imperative that we provide the necessary tools for formerly incarcerated people to rebuild their lives and support their families.”

Jobs for Felons: Ex-felons face rough job prospects



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Companies that hire felons


How to get a job with a criminal revord


Jobs for Felons: Training programs give ex-prisoners a chance at landing a job


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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ex offender seeks professional job

Ex offender seeks professional job


Ex offender seeks professional job
Eric,


Here's the situation (a mess in some ways...good in others);

I'm 52 years old, white male, MBA in Finance and MIS, BS in Computer Science and Marketing...worked in Mortgages with Village Bank and Credit Card Decisioning, Billing, and Marketing Websites with The Miller Bank (Star Bank).Village Bank and The Miller Bank/Star Bank both went out of business due to the economy. I've been unemployed for a while, since March 2008...there have been a few jobs thrown in here and there since then but they didn't last (Funeral Sales and Sr. Manager with a consulting firm).

The funeral sales position required me to be licensed in Life, Accident, and Sickness. I was completely honest during the interviews and application concerning past and a recent shoplifting arrest. I cleared the background check and was hired. I was denied a temporary license to sell insurance due to the shoplifting incident. The company fired me...yes, even though I passed their background check and the fact that they own the insurance company. Confusing, but true.

I have 6 children and the financial pressures are mounting. I have the following on my background...
  • A DUI from 1989...I was slapped on the hand with an ARD sentence but the charge was not expunged.
  • In 1992/1993 My boss told me to take home the following...a water cooler, a fax machine, and a word processor because we were getting new equipment. I was arrested for "theft by taking" and "receiving stolen property"...both misdemeanors. I plead guilty because the company wasn't backing down. My ex-boss later married my ex-wife. Still, the charges are on my record.
  • Since I've been in Georgia in 1996...I married a widow and there have been domestic violence arrests but all "nolle prosse".
  • Also since 1996 in GA...In 2007 a shoplifting incident that was handled via a first time offender conviction..."nolle prosse", but not expunged.
  • And last year (2010) in Florida...another shoplifting incident that was handled via a guilty plea in absentia...adjudicated guilty. Since this was not "adjudicated withheld" I am not eligible to have this case expunged...ever. I have completed all probation and restitution requirements (fines and community service).

So...you can see when my background gets pulled there is a ton of things that show for me...all misdemeanors...all ugly.

I'm always honest on my applications and in interviews. With the state of the economy it appears I'm too big a risk...plus I know my age is a factor. So, I'm fighting a sketchy past and an age issue. I feel there is no hope.

But, you mentioned The United Way in your blog. I am a true professional from head to toe. Look as polished as any attorney or CEO during interviews. I know I can be of value to a corporation in some capacity. Do you think The United Way is my best place to start to rebuild myself and get back to work?

I hate to see convicted felons (aka sports stars like Michael Vick) return to society after having served their time and paid full restitution move back into society like nothing occurred. How does the little guy do that?

I'd appreciate any all information you may have for me.

Thank you!

Steve

Ex offender seeks professional job


Hello Steve,

For most ex offenders and felons looking for jobs the United Way is a great place to start. The United Way supports a number of organizations that have contacts to open positions. Perhaps a more polished professional like yourself may be better served by contacting your local S.C.O.R.E (Service Corp of Retire Executives) office. As the name implies, there are retired executives who serve communities in many ways. Perhaps you may find valuable contacts that could help you locate your next opportunity.

Another suggestion I often make ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs is to apply with cover letters and resumes. Often when applicants apply directly to employers this way, the question of a criminal record never comes up.  Take a look at the video below.  It outlines how ex-offenders and felons can use resumes sent with well written cover letters as a way to get interviews.  This will let prospective employers the opportunity to meet the person before meeting the criminal record.

Jobs for Ex-offenders and Felons: Sending Resumes and Cover letters





I hope this helps.

Jobs for Ex-offenders and Felons: Where can Ex-offenders Find Jobs

Jobs for Ex-offenders and Felons: Ten Steps to Getting a Job with a Criminal Record



Ex offender seeks professional job

Ex offender seeks professional job

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Ex offender seeks professional job

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