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    In the United States of America, there is a growing shift towards offering work and job opportunities to felons who have paid their sentence.

    Many of these employers who hire felons have signed onto the Fair Chance Pledge, which aims to offer Americans with prior criminal records and convictions a fair chance at employment.

    In America, nearly 73.5 million individuals have a criminal record.

    That is 29.5% of the entire population.

    While we are not going to discuss criminal reforms needed in the justice system, we will discuss the need to offer a second chance to those individuals and the employers who hire felons and others convicted of crimes.

    A felony charge can disqualify an individual from many rights and liberties guaranteed in the constitution.

    Chief amongst those disqualifications is disenfranchisement or the loss of voting ability.

    But in addition, felons can be excluded from obtaining certain licenses and visas, are ineligible to serve on a jury, and are excluded from purchasing firearms and ammunition.

    However, some felons are also ineligible to qualify or apply for government assistance or welfare.

    With the difficulty many felons find in reintegrating with society after their debts have been paid, the problem can be compounded by their inability to receive welfare and government aid.

    As President Obama remarked, “around 70 million Americans have some sort of criminal record … Now, a lot of time, that record disqualifies you from being a full participant in our society — even if you’ve already paid your debt to society.

    It means millions of Americans have difficulty even getting their foot in the door to try to get a job much less actually hang on to that job.

    That’s bad for not only those individuals, it’s bad for our economy.

    It’s bad for the communities that desperately need more role models who are gainfully employed.

    So, we’ve got to make sure Americans who’ve paid their debt to society can earn their second chance.”

    Fair Chance Pledge

    The Fair Chance Business Pledge looks to have businesses take a pledge and a commitment towards providing an opportunity for all individuals, regardless of previous criminal record.

    The pledge urges businesses simply promote a fair and equitable hiring process.

    This includes a “ban the box”, training of human resources and hiring managers to make fair applicant decisions, allowing for job training and internships to all individuals, utilizing background check providers which are correct, and a push to host job fairs to allow for individuals with previous convictions to apply to these opportunities in person.

    Additional Government Programs

    In addition, the federal government has enacted two major programs to assist ex-offenders and felons land a job after their incarceration.

    These programs look to benefit and guarantee certain items to employers, in-return for hiring ex-offenders.

    Work Opportunity Tax Credit

    The first is the Work Opportunity Tax Credit or WOTC.

    This program encourages employers to hire individuals from the below targeted group:

    • Qualified IV-A Recipient
      • This is an individual who is part of a family that receives assistance under a state plan.
    • Qualified Veteran
      • A qualified veteran is someone who is:
        • Member of a family receiving assistance under Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for a minimum of three months during their initial 15 months of employment
        • Unemployed for 4 weeks but less than 6 months in a 1-year period ending on the hiring date
        • A disabled veteran entitled to compensation
      • Ex-Felon
        • A person hired within a year of being convicted or being released from prison
      • Designated Community Resident (DCR)
        • Is at least 18 years old and under 40 who resides in an empowerment zone or an enterprise community or a renewal community and continues to reside there after receiving employment
      • Vocational Rehabilitation Referral
        • A person who has a physical or mental disability
      • Summer Youth Employee
        • An individual between 16-18 who is employed between May 1st and September 15th and resides in an empowerment zone or an enterprise community or a renewal community
      • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Recipient
        • An individual over 18 but under 40 who receives SNAP benefits for the previous 6 months or 3 of the previous 5 months
      • Supplemental Security Income Recipient
        • A person who received SSI benefits within 60 days of hire
      • Long-Term Family Assistance Recipient
      • Qualified Long-Term Unemployment Recipient
        • An individual who has been unemployed for at least 27 consecutive weeks at the time of hire

    An employer MUST confirm that the individual is a member of the targeted group before claiming the federal credit.

    Federal Bonding Program

    Secondly, in 1966 the U.S. Department of Labor has enacted The Federal Bonding Program that aims to guarantee honesty for job seekers whom are considered “at-risk.”

    These job seekers may find difficulty in securing a job position but can be federally bonded to ensure that no theft, fraud, or loss of valuables will be lost.

    This program covers employers for the first six-months at no additional cost.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIErSZ806Jo

    Employers Who Hire Felons

    With the growing awareness surrounding the hardships faced in securing employment, many companies are beginning to push for the Fair Chance Pledge.

    Though each person and individuals’ case is different, below is a list of companies who have either signed the pledge or are known to be open to hiring ex-offenders.

    Any employer with an asterisk after their name indicates that they have signed the pledge.

    (Credit)

    1-800-Flowers.com*, Carle Place, NY

    21st Century Telecommunications LLC*

    3D PARS

    AAMCO Transmissions and Auto Care*

    Abbott Laboratories*

    Abcor Industries

    Access Green

    Ace Hardware*

    ADM*

    A.D. Transport

    Adams Trucking

    Adecco Staffing

    Advantage Pool Management Services, Inc. Atlanta, GA

    Aesthetics On The Glow*

    Aetna

    Aids Healthcare Foundation*, Los Angeles, CA

    Al Abbas Cookies*, Dearborn, MI

    Alamo Draft House, Austin, TX*

    Alamo Rent a Car

    Alaska Airlines*

    ALB3 Consulting Research & Management*

    Albertson’s*

    Allegra Marketing & Print* Marmora, NJ

    Allied Van Lines*

    Allstate Insurance*

    Ally Taco*

    Alton and Southern Railway

    Altria*

    Amazon

    America West Air

    American Airlines*

    American Eagle Sealcoating and Asphalt LLC*

    American Express*

    American Financial*

    American Greetings*

    American Heart Association, Dallas, TX *

    American National Logistics

    American Orange Trucking

    Ameriprise*

    Amity Foundation*

    Andersen Windows*

    Anderson Trucking Services, Inc.

    Andrews Funeral Home*

    Anti-Recidivism Coalition*

    Anzures Worldwide*

    A One Contracting & Supply

    Apple Inc.*

    Applebee’s*

    Approved Storage and Waste Handling, Inc.*

    A & R Logistics

    Aramark Food Services*

    Arizona State University*

    Arthur J. Gallagher & Co

    Arthrex*, Naples, FL

    Ashley Furniture*

    Asian Media Access*

    Associated Students Inc., San Francisco State University – Project Rebound*

    AT&T*

    Atlantic Parking Washington, D.C. (DMV)

    Atlas Van Lines

    Auburn University*

    Auto-chlor Systems*

    Automation Personnel Services Inc.

    Avalon Breads*

    Averitt Express

    Avis Budget Group*

    Avon Products*

    Bahama Breeze*

    Baker’s Square Restaurant & Bakery

    Bally’s Hotel & Casino

    Bally Technologies/Scientific Games

    Barr-Nunn Transportation

    Baskin-Robbins*

    Baxter International*

    Bed, Bath & Beyond*

    Behavioral Health Works* Anaheim, CA

    Best Buy*

    Best Foods

    Best Western*

    BF Goodrich

    Big Boy Restaurants*

    Black and Decker*

    The Blanch Law Firm, NYC

    Blue Cross/Blue Shield*

    Boeing*

    Bonefish Grill

    Borgata Casino & Spa

    Boston University*

    Boyd Bros Transportation

    Braum’s Inc.*

    Bridgestone*

    British Airways

    Brunswick Corp

    Budget Rent-A-Car

    Buffalo Wild Wings*

    Butterball Farms*

    CalArk International Trucking

    Caldwell Banker*

    Calvin Klein*

    Camp Bow-Wow*, Westminster, CO

    Campbell Soup Company*

    Candlewood Suites

    Canon USA

    The Capital Grille

    Captain D’s*

    Carahsoft, Reston, VA*

    Career Education Group

    Carl’s Jr.*

    Carolina Cargo

    Carrabba’s Italian Grill

    Carrier Corporation*

    Cascade Engineering*

    Casio, Inc.*

    Caterpillar Inc.*

    CDW Computers*

    Chase Bank

    Checkr*

    Cheeseman Transport

    Chick-fil-a*

    Chili’s*

    Chicago Green Insulation*

    Chicago Mercantile Exchange

    Chipotle Mexican Grill*

    Choice Hotels

    Christmas Tree Shop

    Cintas*

    City University of New York*

    CKS Packaging, Inc.*

    Clear Talk Wireless*

    The Coca-Cola Company*

    Coldwell Banker

    College of Saint Benedict*

    Columbia University*

    Comcast

    Comfort Inn &Suites

    Compaq Computer

    ConAgra Foods*

    Concentrix*

    Conco Construction*

    Cornell University*

    Core Carrier Corp.

    Country Inn & Suites

    Crete Carrier

    CR England

    Crowne Plaza

    CRST Van Expedited

    CVS Health*

    Dairy Queen

    Dap Products

    Darden Restaurants*

    Dart Container*

    Dave’s Killer Bread

    Davis Transport Inc.

    DeBoer Transportation Inc.

    Deere

    Deer Park Spring Water Co.*

    Del Monte Foods

    Dell Corporation

    Delta Air Lines*

    Delta Faucets*

    Denny’s*

    Dick Lavy Trucking

    Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

    Dillard’s

    Dole Foods*

    Dollar General

    Dollar Rent A Car*

    Dollar Tree*

    Domino’s Pizza*

    Dr. Bronner’s*

    Dr. Pepper Snapple Group*

    Doubletree Hotels

    Dow Brands

    Dow Jones & Company

    Dropbox*

    Dunkin Donuts

    Dunlop Tires

    DuPont Co.*

    Duracell*

    Dutch Maid Logistics Inc.

    The Earle Companies*

    Eastern University*

    Eddie Bauer*

    Eddie V’s*

    Electrolux

    Elkhart Plastics Inc.

    Embassy Suites*

    Enterprise Rent a Car*

    Epson*

    Equity Office Properties

    Erickson Companies (Chandler, AZ)

    Ermco

    Exelon*

    Express Employment Professionals*

    Exxon Mobil

    Facebook*

    Fairfield Inn

    Falcon Transport

    Family Dollar*

    Federal Express*

    Feeler Tree Service (Belle, MO)

    FCA Fiat Chrysler Automobiles*

    Firestone Tire and Rubber*

    First Step Staffing  Atlanta, GA | Phila., PA | Nasville, TN | Duluth, MN

    Five Guys Burgers and Fries

    Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar

    Flint Hills Resources*

    Floor and Décor Outlets of America

    Flying J

    Food Giant*

    Food Services of America*

    Fortune Brands

    Fred’s*

    Freymiller Trucking

    Frito-Lay

    Fruit of the Loom*

    Fujifilm*

    Gallery Furniture*

    Gap*

    Gedney Pickle, Chaska, MN

    Genentech

    Genesis Health Clubs*

    General Electric*

    General Growth Properties

    Genentech*

    General Mills*

    Georgia-Pacific*

    GMAC

    Golden Corral*

    Goodman Manufacturing*

    Goodwill Industries

    Goodyear Dunlop Tires*

    Google*

    Gordon Trucking, Inc.

    Great Clips*

    Greyhound*

    Greyston Bakery*

    Greyston Social Enterprise*

    Groendyke Transport

    Guardian Industries*

    Gusto*, San Francisco, CA

    Hager Construction Co. (Jacksonville, FL)

    Hampton Inn

    Hanes*

    Haralambos Beverage Company, Industry, CA

    Hawthorn Suites

    The Hershey Company*

    Hillshire Brands

    Hilton Hotels*

    Holiday Inn

    Homeboy Industries (Los Angeles)

    Home Depot*

    Homewood Suites

    Honest Jobs*

    Huddle House*

    Hunt Transportation

    Hyatt Hotels

    IBM*

    I Have a Bean*

    IHOP*

    IKEA*

    Illinois Tool Works*

    In-N-Out Burger*

    Intel*

    International Paper*

    Interstate Batteries*

    Interstate Distributor Co.

    Invista

    Jack in the Box*

    J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc.

    JBM Packaging*

    JBS Carriers

    Jewel Osco

    JiffyLube*

    Jimmy John’s*

    Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System*

    The Johnson Group*

    K-Mart*

    Kellogg’s*

    Kelly-Moore

    KFC*

    Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

    King’s International Staffing, Phoenix, AZ

    Klobus O’Neil Roofing Co. Inc, (Brightwood, OR)

    Knight Transportation

    Koch Industries*

    Kogok Corporation (MD)

    Kohl’s*

    Kraft Foods*

    Kreilkamp Trucking

    Kroger*

    LG Electronics

    Labor Ready

    The Lancatser Food Co.

    Landstar Trucking

    L.A. Times

    Lawn Life, Columbus, OH

    Legendary Baking

    Libra Group*

    Longhorn Steakhouse*

    Lyft*

    LORAM Maintenance of Way, Inc.

    Lowes*

    Luby’s

    Lyft

    Macy’s

    Maggiano’s Little Italy

    Magnum Express

    Manpower

    Marriott Hotels

    McDonald’s*

    McGriff, Seibels & Williams, Inc.

    MCH Transportation

    McLane Foodservice*

    Melton Truck Lines

    Men’s Warehouse*

    Menards*

    Metals USA*

    MGM Resorts International*

    Miami Valley Gaming (OH)

    Microsoft*

    MillerCoors*

    Miller Transporters, Inc.

    Millis Transfer, Inc.

    Mobil Oil

    Molex

    Molson Coors Brewing Company

    Monsanto*

    Motorola*

    Monro Muffler Brake & Service

    Mustang Cat

    MVP Staffing

    N2 Publishing, Wilmington, NC*

    National Carriers

    Navistar International*

    New York Times

    Newegg*

    Newell Rubbermaid*

    Newport Group*, Walnut Creek, CA

    New Relic, San Fransisco, CA*

    Newsweek

    Niagra Bottling

    Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub

    Ninth St. Bakery, Durham, NC

    NISource

    Nordstrom*

    Northern Trust

    Ocean Resort Casino

    Ocean State Job Lot*

    O’Charley’s Restaurant + Bar

    Old Republic Title*

    Olive Garden*

    ORTran

    Outback Steakhouse

    Packaging Corp of America*

    PACTIV*

    Papa John’s*

    Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen*

    Park Plaza Hotels

    Party City

    Paschall Truck Lines

    Pepsi-Co*

    Perdue Farms*

    Perkins Restaurants

    Perkins Specialized Transportation, Inc.

    PetSmart*

    PFS Group*

    PGT Trucking

    Phillip Morris*

    Pilgrim Quality Solutions*

    Pilot Flying J*

    Plank Industries*

    Power Home Remodeling*, Chester, PA

    Praxair*

    Preferred Freezer Services

    Premium Retail Services,  Chesterfield, MO*

    Prestige Home Improvements (VA Beach, VA)

    Prideline Buses, Birmingham, AL

    Prime Retail Services (Construction)

    Prudential*

    Prime Inc

    Prudent Financial*

    Publix

    Quality Ingredients Corporation, Burnsville, MN

    Raddison Hotels*

    Red Lobster*

    Red Robin*

    Republic Services*

    Residence Inn

    Restaurant Depot*

    Reyes Beverage Group*

    Riverside Transport, Inc

    Ross

    Roehl Transport

    RPM Development

    1. R. Donnelley & Sons*

    R&R Transportation

    RTI International*

    Rubbermaid Inc.

    Rumpke*

    Rutgers University*

    Safeway*

    Salvation Army*

    Salmon Companies

    Sam’s Club*

    Sara Lee Corporation – Bimbo Bakeries USA

    Schneider National

    Seasons 52*

    ServiceMaster

    Services Group of America

    Set and Service Resources*, Raleigh, NC

    Seven Up, Inc.

    Sharkey Transportation, Inc.

    Shell Oil*

    Showtime Networks

    Shoprite*

    Simplex Leasing

    Sisbro, Inc.

    Skyline Design, Chicago, IL

    Smith Transport, Inc.

    Sonic Drive-In

    Sony*

    Southern Refrigerated Transport

    Spherion Staffing & Recruiting

    Springhill Suites

    Sprint*

    Staples*

    Starbucks*

    Starwood Hotels

    Star Fleet Trucking

    State University of New York*

    Station Casinos*

    Steak and Shake

    Stevens Transport

    STS Transportation, Birmingham, AL

    Structural Restoration Services, Inc. (Loganville, PA)

    Swift Transportation

    Swissport International Ltd.*

    Subway*

    Supervalu*

    Support.com*

    Sysco*

    Target Stores*

    TDS Telecommunications*, Madison, WI

    Telephone & Data Systems Inc.

    Tellabs

    Tesla*

    TGI Friday

    The New York Times

    Tijuana Flats*, Maitland, FL

    Tim Horton’s

    Titan Staffing Inc. (Murfreesboro, TN)

    Touchstone Hospitality LLC – Columbus, OH

    Towneplace Suites

    Trader Joe’s*

    Tradewinds Island Resorts

    Transcorr

    Transport America

    Transway

    Tribune Media

    Tropicana Casino/Resort

    Tyson Foods*

    Uber*

    Under Armor*

    Unilever*

    U.S. Cellular*

    U.S. Freightways Logistics

    Unifirst

    Unilever

    United Airlines*

    United Parcel Service

    University of Pennsylvania*

    1. S. A. Truck

    US Foods*

    US Steel*

    US Xpress, Inc

    Valvoline Instant Oil Change

    Van Wyk, Inc.

    Vehicles for Change Auto Service Center, Halethorpe, MD

    Verizon*

    Village Inn

    Volunteers of America

    Voyager Express, Inc

    1. W. Grainger*

    Walgreens*

    Wal-Mart*

    Ward Truckload Express LLC

    WEL Companies

    Wendy’s*

    Western Express

    West Side Transport

    Williams*

    WinCo*

    Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company

    Wyndham Hotels*

    Xerox*

    Xylem, Rye Brook, NY*

    Yard House*

    Year Up, Boston, MA*

    Zebra Technologies

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