Second Chance Business Coalition (Employment/Advancement for People with Criminal Records)

Overview

Second chance programs provide employment opportunities to individuals with a criminal record, supporting their reentry into the workforce, upward mobility once employed, and improving equity in employment.

Business Roundtable launched the Second Chance Business Coalition in June 2021 to expand second chance hiring and advancement practices within its companies. A cross-sector group of large employers (primarily Business Roundtable member companies) comprise the coalition. The coalition’s goal is to equip large employers with tools, resources and best practices to advance second chance programs.

The coalition supports its members by:

  • Developing best practices and enabling companies to share approaches and experiences, learn from subject-matter experts and deploy tools to improve second chance recruitment, retention, manager training, performance and satisfaction.
  • Launching pilot initiatives that test new approaches to second-chance hiring and advancement practices; e.g., partnerships with community service organizations and providers, using metrics to guide decision-making.

Background

The coalition was founded in the recognition that the estimated 70 million Americans with arrest or conviction records face significant challenges reintegrating into society. A 2017 report from the Trone Center for Justice & Equality (American Civil Liberties Union - ACLU) identified several ways companies can help address the problems of decades of largescale incarceration and take advantage of a large untapped, diverse workforce.

Federal policy also provides benefits to companies who hire a qualified ex-felon. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is available to employers who hire a qualified ex-felon. The tax credit is up to 25% of the employee’s first year’s wages if the employee works at least 120 hours, and 40% if the employee works over 400 hours.  Some additional incentives may be available to small business owners in some states and municipalities.

A second chance approach opens new paths to employment in ways that are inclusive and create a diverse talent pool of qualified candidates for in-demand jobs.

Partners

Arnold, JPMorgan Chase & Co. , the Society for Human Resource Management, Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation, Stand Together, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business Pivot Program, Accenture, AT&T, Bank of America, Best Buy, Cisco, CVS Health, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Eaton, Gap Inc., General Motors, The Home Depot, Koch Industries, Kroger, Mastercard, McDonald’s, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Prudential Financial, Inc., Schnitzer Steel Industries, Target, Texas Instruments Incorporated, Union Pacific, Verizon Communications, Visa, Vistra Corp., Walgreens Boots Alliance, and Walmart.

Resources

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