Eric Mayo Jobs for Felons: How felons can get jobs
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Showing posts with label employers that hire felons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label employers that hire felons. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Jobs for Felons: Educated Felon is Looking for Good Job

Jobs for Felons: Educated Felon is Looking for Good Job

Jobs for Felons: Educated Felon is Looking for Good Job

I came across your blog on and read an entry from 2015 that pretty much reflects what's currently going on in my long time boyfriend's life. He recently got his second felony for a drug conviction in 2016. He previously was out of trouble for 10 years, and was actually on his way to obtain his certificate of rehabilitation. Unfortunately, that's no longer on the table now that he has his recent conviction on his record. He's currently serving his probation, but is due for a review in court next week to see if he can get off early (keeping our fingers crossed).

I'm sure as you well know, it is extremely difficult for an ex felon to find gainful employment. It's incredibly discouraging, even for me. I try to be positive and be some sort of resource for him, but he has a very self-defeating attitude right now and I just want to help him. Yes, I recognize that he has made it much more difficult for himself to find a job with a good salary and benefits, but I'm more of an optimist and I try my best to believe that something will come along, if he puts in the work.

He is educated (he has his BA from Cal State Northridge in Psychology) and has work experience in the respite health field. He now believes that is no longer an option for him, once they do a background check he'll be denied. He is very well spoken, and is like a chameleon- he is able to integrate himself pretty effortlessly into anything he puts his mind to...he just needs that opportunity to prove it.  He needs someone who is willing to give him a chance to provide for himself, his family and start preparing for his future. 

Do you have any advice? A direction we can go into that will help him find a job that he will find rewarding, and gainful? I am aware of the Federal Bonding program and have that to bring to the table, but he is very discouraged, depressed and going through some type of learned helplessness. I just want to find something for him to be successful at. Anything I suggest, he seems to retort with a reason why it won't work out. His probation officer is no help, and is hardly familiar with his case.  He hasn't offered any assistance or resources and when I ask my boyfriend to inquire about it with his PO, he shrugs it off and says things like, "i'm just a speck in his caseload". He also doesn't want to bring any unwanted attention to himself, so as to not cause any problems.

I'm at a loss. I myself am working a salary job, but it certainly isn't enough and I know he will only be happy once he's offered a position that will grant him the ability to provide a comfortable life for himself and his family. I don't want him believing that he is only destined for a minimum wage job for the rest of his life....

Anything helps,


Jobs for Felons: Educated Felon is Looking for Good Job

Hello Jessica,
Jobs for Felons: Educated Felon is Looking for Good JobIt seems that your boyfriend has dug himself a bit of a hole.  All is not lost.  One thing I might try is the local community college.  Community colleges are always looking for adjunct instructors to teach freshman classes.  Adjunct instructors are used on an as-needed basis but it is a great way t0 get a start in the professional world.

Another thing to try is contact your local councilperson.  Council members in touch with a lot of things and people in the community.  They may know of open positions in the area,  Remember council members are politicians and every person is a potential vote.

Jobs for Felons: Educated Felon is Looking for Good JobAnother option is to apply for temporary employment.  Working for a temporary agency is a great way to quickly get a job.  Often temporary assignments turn into permanent jobs.  Some agencies have clients that require professional employees.  The key to felons applying to temporary agencies is to apply to smaller, privately owned agencies rather that large national companies.  Sometimes larger companies have guidelines that prohibit the hiring of felons.  Smaller agencies are free to hire anyone they choose so your boyfriend may have better luck with them.

Frequent readers of my blog know that everyone I speak to who is looking for a job I direct to the local One-stop Career Center.  Each state has a network of centers that offer a variety of free services that can assist you in finding employment. In addition, these centers offer a wide array of services that can help a felon get jobs.

 Some services available are:

Counselors for One-on-one Assistance

Jobs for Felons: Educated Felon is Looking for Good JobWorkshops (Resume Writing, Interviewing Skills, and related topics.)

Computers with internet access and word processing

Lists of thousands of job listings

Printers, fax machines, phones, and copiers for job search use

Each center has counselors there that help clients in their job searches. 

You can find the nearest location of the One Stop Career Center in your local phone book or on the web at:

I hope this helps.

Jobs for Felons: Educated Felon is Looking for Good Job

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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Eric Mayo

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Jobs for Felons: Navigating a Digital World After 40 Years in Prison

Aaron Mondry - Splinter News - Detroit

 Navigating a Digital World After 40 Years in Prison

Edward Minor had a paper due for his English class on income inequality at Wayne County Community College in Detroit. He’d completed all the research and knew what he wanted to write. The main issue was time—he only had a few hours.

But countless, frustrating obstacles delayed his progress, from the laborious pace at which 62-year-old Minor types to figuring out how to save his document. The final step, however, was really tripping him up. Since he was using a computer at the library, he needed to email the file to himself so he could edit it later on a different computer.

“Do I just put my email address up here?” Minor asked, pointing to the bar at the top of the web browser. Eventually he got some help from a computer technician, but he wasn’t confident he’d be able to find the document later.

“They’re doing it so fast and I’m trying to follow,” he says. “They don’t see that there’s a baby right here in front of them. I’m a baby out here!”

Jobs for Felons: Navigating a Digital World After 40 Years in Prison

Ed Minor types at the Detroit Public Library, wearing a pin with a photo of Angela Davis.
Photo: Nick Hagen

Indeed, Minor’s relationship to the world isn’t so different from that of an infant. That’s because, in October 2017, Minor was released from prison after being incarcerated for more than 40 years. A modern-day Rip Van Winkle (who left society for a mere two decades), Minor is adrift in a society that left him behind.

The hunt-and-peck typing method he employs, which itself is slower than usual, is just the beginning of his technological difficulties. The computers, wireless internet, and touch screens that many take for granted are alien to him. Even looking at a computer screen—with all its strange icons, commands, and windows—is like deciphering the Rosetta Stone.
While Minor may be an extreme case, he squarely fits the description of Americans who suffer most from the digital divide, a phenomenon that describes how technology can contribute to inequality: He’s elderly, he’s poor, and he’s a person of color.

Resolving the divide’s underlying issues will be anything but simple, but the negative effects are pretty straightforward. If you don’t have access to the internet or the skills to use it, you also won’t have access to countless jobs and resources. As Tom Wheeler, former chair of the FCC, said in 2015, “The bottom line is this: If you are not connected to the internet…you cannot participate fully in our economy and our democracy.”

As of 2015, Detroit was the least connected city in America. Forty percent of Detroit’s households have no broadband connection and 70 percent of its school-age kids have no internet access at home (excluding smartphones).

For its size, Detroit is woefully under-connected. But rural areas and small metropolises often have it worse. According to a Brookings Institute report, almost one in four people in the United States lived in low subscription neighborhoods in 2015. Fewer than 40 percent of households subscribed to broadband internet.

Price is often an inhibiting factor. Detroit’s two main broadband providers, Comcast and AT&T, respectively, offer plans for their slowest connections at $25 for 12 months (and $50 afterwards) and $40 per month with a $99 installation fee.

Jobs for Felons: Navigating a Digital World After 40 Years in Prison

Ed Minor
Photo: Nick Hagen

Federal programs can lower the cost of these plans, but a study by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) showed that in Cleveland and Detroit, AT&T didn’t built out the infrastructure sufficiently to provide residents with high enough connection speeds to meet program guidelines. In other words, there’s a major correlation between plan availability and poverty.

The NDIA has described this as “digital redlining,” a reference to the practice that denied people of color access to housing, and which ran rampant in Detroit in the mid-1900s.

That’s in line with what Diana Nucera, director of the Detroit Community Technology Project, has witnessed. “Whether it’s artificial intelligence or internet access or healthcare,” she says, “the problems of the digital divide all stem from the same place: racism.”

I described Minor’s situation to Nucera and asked what she thought. “If he’s a victim of the digital divide, he’s also a victim of several other things before that,” she says. “It’s much more complicated than giving this gentleman a computer.”

Before Minor ever went to prison, understanding modern-day technology was the least of his concerns.

He came from a challenging home life. “My family were alcoholics,” he says. “I never met my mother’s side of the family. My father’s side was just drunks, dope fiends, dealing in corn liquor. My father was always jumping on my mother; my uncles were always jumping on their girlfriends.”
That contributed to his feeling aimless as a youth growing up on Detroit’s west side. “I didn’t know what to do with my life,” he says. “Didn’t want to do anything with my life.”
As for technology, his family didn’t even own a color TV.

“The problems of the digital divide all stem from the same place: racism.”

Minor was imprisoned once for seven months for breaking and entering. When he was released, he wanted to pay back a favor for a friend that helped him out while in prison. But the only way he knew how to get the money was to steal it. Planning to mug someone outside a nightclub, he says he brought an unloaded BB gun whereas his co-defendant, without telling him, brought a real gun.

According to Minor, his accomplice shot the person they were mugging, and after they were arrested, made a statement saying Minor committed the murder. Minor says he was pressured by his lawyer and the judge to plead guilty to second degree murder.
The sentence: life with parole.

Navigating a Digital World After 40 Years in Prison

Ed Minor checks the bus schedule on his phone.
Photo: Nick Hagen
Since getting out of prison, Minor has lived with his cousin in Southfield, an adjacent suburb of Detroit about 15 miles from downtown. On a normal day, Minor wakes up at around 11am, eats breakfast, and takes an hour and a half-long, two-bus transfer journey—with an undersized bicycle in tow—to either the WCCC campus or Detroit Public Library’s main branch. There he’ll do school work and develop his computer skills for several hours before heading to his job as a dishwasher at a nearby restaurant.

He often closes out, which means leaving work at around midnight and catching one of the last rapid buses heading north. At that time of night, the bus no longer runs for the last four-mile leg home, so he either bikes or walks depending on the weather. Once, the bus never came and his co-worker paid for a rideshare. He rarely gets into bed before 3am.

While at the downtown library, the person assisting him is often Keronce Sims, a computer technician. He teaches classes on computing basics, but his main job is helping patrons and employees troubleshoot computer issues. That means he’s often running from one request to the next all day long.

“What aren’t I responsible for?” Sims says with a laugh. “I’m one of three in the building…I’m putting out some matches, some candles, some fires.”

Local libraries are common destinations for people without computers or internet access. Detroit’s main branch has about 80 computers and there’s no time limit on how long someone can use one or, aside from games and X-rated content, what they can use them for.

In his 30 years at the library, Sims has seen all types of people use the computers for every conceivable reason: to apply for assistance, look for work, write a thesis, sue someone, or just to watch videos and go on Facebook.

Sometimes, according to Sims, people have panic attacks when trying to take care of a stressful matter using a machine they don’t understand. “I see it all the time,” he says. “I see a lot of impairments. Some are dyslexic, some are recovering from a physical injury or a stroke. Some are visually impaired. I’ve seen people with missing digits.”

Sims has been working with Minor since the summer and is encouraged by his effort. “Some people inquire about our services but don’t show up,” he says. “But [Minor] showed up. He knew nothing at first—the whole digital world was foreign to him.”

Navigating a Digital World After 40 Years in Prison

Keronce Sims helps Ed Minor navigate a computer at the Detroit Public Library.
Photo: Nick Hagen

In addition to having a felony on his record, little free time in his daily life, bad eyesight, hyperthyroidism, and no car, Minor also has very little money, and few people he can rely on besides his cousin. He’s also battling the type of culture shock that has nothing to do with the digital world. Simply going to the supermarket is a stressful experience that results in decision paralysis. “I stick to chocolate or vanilla ice cream and white socks,” he says.

As director of DCTP, Nucera oversees programs that foster use of technology based on community need. One of those programs is the Equitable Internet Initiative, which will provide 150 Detroit households with high-speed internet access. The program also involved training 25 local “digital stewards,” two of whom were in their late seventies, in hardware installation and WiFi setup. Age matters, but it’s not the primary barrier.

Minor has a passion for housing. After he’s done taking his prerequisites at WCCC, he’s planning to take classes on real estate. Despite everything he’s been through, he’s remarkably optimistic.
“Oh, it’s gonna get done,” he says. “Keep doing what I’m doing, don’t cry about it, move with it. I feel I’m on a mission.”

Sims and Nucera both think he has the capacity to overcome his technological difficulties.
“Clearly he’s extremely resilient,” Nucera says. “You don’t come out of prison after 40 years as an optimistic man without having a sense of self and being very intelligent. It’s not about his ability to learn. It’s about whether or not society can accept someone who’s been in prison for that long.”

Updated List of Companies that Hire Ex-offenders and Felons

Navigating a Digital World After 40 Years in Prison

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Eric Mayo

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Felon Wants to Become a Barber

 Felon Wants to Become a Barber,

My name is Gracie and my boyfriend is currently incarcerated and was sentenced 3-10 year sentence for battery with a deadly weapon, conspiracy robbery and attempt robbery and is hoping to only do 3 with parole. He's working on getting his GED now and wants to get into barber school when he gets out but while he's doing that, what kind of job do you think he will be able to get here in a gold mining town? Or any other place?

Felon Wants to Become a Barber

Hi Gracie,

Felon Wants to Become a BarberIf he wants to be a barber that is great.  I know of many ex-offenders and felons who have chosen to be barbers and hairstylists.  Every community welcomes good barbers.  I have been to many prisons and found that barber/cosmetology instruction is offered as vocational training within the prisons themselves.  If that is
the case where your boyfriend is, he will be ahead of the game.  What you may want to do first is contact the cosmetology board in your state to see if his convictions make him ineligible to be certified or licensed.  If not, he could still turn it into a profitable "hobby."  He could make house calls and cut hair.

Always a strong suggestion I make to all felons looking for jobs is to make a trip to the local One-stop Career Center.  Once know as the "employment office," the local one-stop offers many services like resume preparation, interviewing skills and other resources to help citizens get jobs.  There are also computers available for job search use.  Every center has lists of available jobs in the immediate area.  He will also find counselors that offer personal assistance to those looking for jobs.  If barber training is not offered at your boyfriend's facility, there may be funding available for training at a barber school.  The counselor will be able to tell you if funding is available.  The counselors also may know employers that have hired ex-offenders or felons in the past.

You can find the local One-stop Career Center here:

Jobs for felons: Where Ex-offenders and Felons can find Jobs

 Companies hire felons

Felon Wants to Become a Barber

Get more info here!

Felon Wants to Become a Barber

Eric Mayo

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Do Employers Have to Hire Felons?

 Do Employers Have to Hire Felons?

 Do Employers Have to Hire Felons

Hi Eric, 

I was just wondering if you have any recent experience with a few of the companies on your website with regards to hiring felons. I was offered 2 positions, one by Comcast and one by Xerox, and they both declined the offer after the background check came back. My conviction is over 8 years old and had nothing to do with the positions I was being hired for. 

I have my second interview tomorrow with American Express and really don't want to got through the same disappointment. American Express asked the question about conviction on the applicant, whereas the other two companies did not. American Express still called and is taking me through the interview process, so I was just wondering if you had any insight into their company policy and if I would have any recourse against American Express if they declined the offer after the background check is conducted, since I fully disclosed everything on my application upon applying. 

I'm located in Florida, if that helps. 


 Do Employers Have to Hire Felons?


Unfortunately I meet ex-offenders and felons who misunderstand what is meant by companies that hire ex-offenders and felons.  Just because a company has a policy that allows for the hiring of people with criminal records, doesn't mean that will hire all felons.  Always the nature of the conviction will be considered.

It is my experience that anyone with a conviction that involves any type of theft, fraud or robbery has a very difficult time landing a job that involves trust on any level.  Also any type of assault (aggravated or sexual) will create a difficult challenge.  Difficult does not mean impossible.  Ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs should apply for every job they feel qualified for.  They have to make the most of every opportunity to get hired.

As for having legal recourse against any company that refuses to hire you,  you have none.  Any company is free to hire or not anyone it chooses.  There is no law that states that felons have a right to a job.  Employers have a responsibility to hire the best person available.

There is a movement in this country to help make getting jobs for felons a lot easier.  The federal government is also pitching in with programs that can help ex-offenders and felons get jobs.  You can find more about them here:

I hope this helps.  Jobs for Felons: Government Help For Felons Looking for Jobs

Jobs for Felons: The Facts about Companies that Hire Ex offenders and Felons (2019)

 Do Employers Have to Hire Felons?

Do Employers Have to Hire Felons?

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