Three Opportunities for Employers to Engage Second Chance Hires
An estimated 70 million people in the U.S. have an arrest or conviction record, and over 600,000 men and women are released from jail each year. Connecting the formerly incarcerated with employment is critical, as it provides a secure income, stability, and a connection with other members of society.
Successfully reintegrating these individuals brings many advantages. The following guide outlines different incentives and opportunities for employers to engage second chance hires.
1. Recoup wages through tax credits.
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit available to employers for hiring individuals from certain targeted groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. Details below.
2. Take advantage of bonding opportunities.
The U.S. Department of Labor established the Federal Bonding Program (FBP) to provide fidelity bonds for “at-risk,” hard-to-place job seekers. The bonds protect employers against employee fraud or dishonesty in the first six months of employment at no cost to the job applicant or the employer. Details below.
3. Partner with organizations participating in grant programs.
The Growth Opportunities grant program provides opportunities for paid work experiences, occupational education, and training in in-demand industries, leadership development, and post-work experience placement for justice-involved youth and young adults. Details below.