Banner: Employers Say

Employers Say

Employers Say

When previously incarcerated men, women, and adjudicated youth leave the prisons and jails behind, they re-enter our communities with tremendous potential.

See what employers like you are saying about the knowledge, experience, and expertise of justice-involved workers, providing them with opportunity while meeting the bottom line. Consider how employers utilize the services of organizations that help these individuals prepare for work.

The Value of Justice-Involved Workers

“We, as employers, need to be willing to take chances. There's a great pool of workers out there who want jobs, and if you're just willing to take a chance, the results can be phenomenal.”

Matthew Hitt
Baltimore Truck Wash
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“This employee has been here for a year and a-half, and I think it’s going to be long-term. She does everything! She’s very, very customer-oriented; has great communication skills; if I need her at the last minute, she comes in; and has goals and aspirations. In fact, I’ve adjusted her schedule so she can go back to school, and she’s excited about that. This employee is great—I like her a lot.”

Margo Strotter
Ain’t She Sweet Café
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“…a great employee. She is always on time and everyone loves her.”

Andrea Thomas
Regional Manager
Plant Essentials, Inc.
Charleston, WV
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“Some companies have entire shifts consisting of people with criminal records. About 20 percent of our workforce…are employees with criminal records. We have people in some high level positions—in my Senior Team—people at the Director level, and all throughout our organization. And they do a phenomenal job.”

Victor Dickson
Safer Foundation
Chicago, IL
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“We opened Al’s Beef on January 20, 2014 and currently have 30 employees. To date, we’ve hired several employees from the Urban League—a DOL Grantee—and continue to extend opportunities to those seeking employment. With respect to ‘justice-involved’ individuals, we want to be known as instruments of love and peace regardless of who they are.”

Raymond L.Giddens, Jr.
General Manager
Al’s Chicago Italian Beef
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“We are inclusive of individuals who come to us with backgrounds, and we base our decisions on qualifications not on past history. Following this approach has been very positive, having hired and retained highly skilled and effective candidates, some of whom have been previously incarcerated.”

Edward Roberts
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“Did I hire anyone who came out of the prison system? I’d say yes. This person had 25 years in the prison system…That person worked out marvelously. I would hire him again… He was willing, he was honest he put forth the right efforts to get the job done.”

Brenda Carter
Tote It, Inc.
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“Don’t look at this as a social program, and don’t look at it as being altruistic. Look at it as a business decision. Johns Hopkins has a long and happy history of hiring ex-offenders.”

Pamela Paulk
Vice President of Human Resources
Johns Hopkins Health Systems
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Employers Take Advantage of DOL Grantee Staffing Services

“ER Multiservices utilizes the services of OIC of South Florida to help recruit, screen and hire qualified and trained workers in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry. As a part of our community social responsibility mission, ER Multiservices extends second opportunities to multiple community residents, some of whom maybe impacted by a negative background. Our hiring decisions are based primarily on qualifications not necessarily on past history. Following this approach has been very positive, having hired and retained highly skilled and effective candidates, some of whom have been previously incarcerated.”

Rodolfo Murrillo
President and CEO
ER Multiservices
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“We currently employ at least 25 applicants referred to us from the Dannon Project—a DOL grantee. Their staff has put us at ease with their upfront, extensive testing and interviewing of potential candidates. The direct hires have been fantastic. Since partnering with this organization, our needs have quadrupled, and the quality of the staff provided has exceeded our expectations beyond measure.”

Sonny Stone
Site Manager
PSC (a sub-contractor of U.S. Steel)
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“These employees are just as successful as those without criminal records. Our success is due to a strong partnership with a nonprofit workforce training organization that screens candidates to find those who are a good match for the grocery's culture; provides training in ‘soft skills’ like how to be successful in a work environment; and then checks back in with the workers once they’re on the job. From a profit perspective, hiring these individuals actually saves us money, since workforce training dollars support the initial screening, training, and follow-up.”

Jeff Brown
Brown’s ShopRite
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“This employee was 18 years old, a single mother, and was expecting her second child when she came to the Human Resource Development Foundation (HRDF)—a DOL Grantee. While at HRDF, she earned an industry recognized credential and completed additional training, which included occupational exploration at our Center; was immediately employed in an on-the-job training position; and continues to provide exemplary services. The students really love her, as do we! Her success is due, in part to the strong working relationship we have with HRDF. Their staff is with us every step of the way.”

Kaleisha Taylor
Kanawha Valley Enrichment Center
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“Home Depot always seeks to provide greater opportunities in the communities we serve—including employing qualified individuals who may have been previously incarcerated. A Department of Labor RExO (Reintegration of Ex-Offenders) Grantee, the Urban League of Essex County, consistently provides us with a qualified pool of candidates and follows up with us on how these new employees are progressing. They’re with us from start to finish and always take the time to understand the needs of our business.”

Alma D. Franco
District Human Resources Manager
Home Depot, Inc.
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“The Watershed Management Group (WMG) is thrilled to partner with Good Futures—a DOL grantee. With their help, we’re building a community resource and helping young people develop solid work skills and environmental ethics. These young adults are helping WMG implement projects at our Living Lab and Learning Center. They are getting their hands dirty and learning skills related to general construction, water harvesting, natural building, native habitat landscaping, and green landscape maintenance practices. They’re a real asset to our operation, and we’re happy to have them on board!”

Lisa Shipek
Executive Director
Watershed Management Group
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“The apprentices, who come from the Safer Foundation— a DOL RExO grantee, are much better prepared than the average job seeker who comes from off the street. They have worked with Safer for 3-12 months. So they have the case management support and wrap-around services…to help them focus on building their careers. The average job seeker may not necessarily have that circle of support.”

Kaylin Travis
Coordinator of Career Development & Programs
Chicago Transit Authority
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“BICAS (Bicycle Intercommunity Art & Salvage) has been working with GoodFutures—a DOL grantee—from the start of the program and it has been a very positive experience for us. We teach mechanical and problem solving skills to over 50 young employees and have built over 80 bikes that are now being used for transportation around Tucson by youth, homeless individuals, and refugees. BICAS is proud to partner with GoodFutures. The individuals they’ve referred to us are great….”

Troy Neiman
Shop Coordinator
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“As a seasonal business we’re able to turn to the Department of Labor’s grantee—the Urban League of Essex County to successfully fill our staffing needs efficiently and quickly. Over the past few years, we’ve hired people with backgrounds, and the results have been excellent. The Urban League has helped us meet our bottom line and provided us with follow-up services that has made the hiring process seamless and painless. They’re a great partner!”

Steve Parker
Parker Wholesale Florist
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