There are over two million people incarcerated in the United States prison system and there are over 600,000 inmates released from our prison system annually. As we discussed in the first part of this article, unfortunately, the majority of these released individuals struggle to find steady work, and most return to prison. With a skilled labor gap issue plaguing the construction industry, many employers are turning to unique ways of combating its widespread effects, including recruiting willing and able workers into the industry that were formerly in the prison system.
In this part, Birmingham contractor attorneys with Cotney Construction Law will discuss a few successful examples of reentry programs and construction firms that have successfully integrated ex-convicts back into society. Remember, for any of your construction firm’s legal needs, a Birmingham contractor attorney is standing by.
Reentry Programs and Firms Committed to Recruiting Ex-Convicts
Whether it’s a grassroots campaign committed to successfully integrating former inmates into society or the practical need to fill jobs with a low unemployment rate, there are several examples of reentry programs that have helped construction firms while successfully introducing ex-convicts to construction work. Two examples of construction industry initiatives that support this concept are a prison reentry program in Louisiana and a construction firm in Arizona that works with corrections departments at job fairs:
A Reentry Program Committed to Change
In an area with the highest incarceration rate per capita in the world, Cornerstone Builders in Louisiana is committed to helping individuals recently released from prison adapt back into society. The program’s belief is that the first 72 hours of an individual’s release are the most critical for their rehabilitation, so part of this initiative includes picking up the individual upon their release, providing them with living arrangements, and offering 100 hours of guaranteed work in construction. This program was created with the belief that with the right mentorship and community involvement, those with troubled pasts can pay their debt to society and make positive change in their life.
A Construction Firm Solving a Labor Problem
Erickson Construction, a construction firm in Chandler, Arizona, employs nearly 30 former inmates from state prisons. These individuals help build the framework of new homes for the company. When job rates fell and the construction firm needed more employees, they turned to corrections department job fairs and recruited inmates nearing release because they believed it was the best outlet to find willing and able workers.
Consult an Attorney
Whether you’re committed to offering recently released individuals an opportunity to successfully reenter society or you are interested in meeting your labor demand needs of recruiting skilled workers, construction employers must weigh the pros and cons of employing formerly incarcerated individuals in their workplace. Employers must also be mindful of the laws related to hiring applicants that were previously convicted of a crime. Whether it’s drafting an employee manual or providing accurate legal advice to grow and protect your business, a construction law firm is here to help.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.