Should your business consider fair chance employment?

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The Chamber Forum in June provided concrete guidance for businesses interested in becoming fair chance employers. Panelists Michael Bowling, Jenna Morey, Joe Ely and Doug Shaffer shared their expertise in navigating the potential challenges a business may face during the hiring process. Each panelist explained the benefits of fair chance employment practices to businesses and the larger community.

Douglas Shaffer, who is the Director of Operations of Scissortail Waste Solutions, shared that he was once an incarcerated individual who served 21 years in prison. Now, he prioritizes giving others similar opportunities to thrive.

“Right at 47% of my current workforce are all second-chance individuals. They are some of the most committed people when you give them an opportunity,” said Shaffer. “When someone needs a chance and you give them a chance, they will be some of the most committed people that you’ve got.”

Joe Ely said, “We all know someone that’s been incarcerated. I can’t think of a better time for these individuals to be engaged in our workforce than right now because we desperately need it in our state.” With unemployment rates at around three percent, it’s tough to find people looking for work. Businesses may be overlooking valuable assets if they choose against employing individuals who have been justice-involved.

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