Jan 25, 2023 4:34:03 PM | 3 Min Read

Idaho: The Second Chance State

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Idaho: The Second Chance State

The U.S. labor market is experiencing a major labor shortage, especially with hourly workers. There are currently no signs that this will resolve or that the demand from employers will abate. At times like this, we have an opportunity to review our way of thinking historically and look to new labor forces that can help fill the vacancies.

Recently, there has been increased attention on how formerly incarcerated workers and those with arrest records are overlooked in the labor market. But why does this barrier to employment exist for so many? The reasoning is often based more on stigma than logic. With that in mind, a state like Idaho stands to benefit from an effort to become a “second-chance state,” where those with a less than perfect criminal record can not only fill the labor gap but also have an opportunity to start again, earn a living and become productive members of society.

There is a real opportunity here for Idaho to lead by example and not only help, but also benefit its own residents. One in three working-age Idahoans (18-64 years old) has a criminal record, and one in ten has a felony attached to their name. The criminal justice system, along with Idaho state laws that allow employers to screen out applicants solely based on them having a criminal record, mean that, in some cases, it is almost impossible for formerly incarcerated individuals to attain gainful employment  a fact that serves no one.

Naturally, public and employee safety must be paramount, and a history of committing certain crimes can make some formerly incarcerated individuals not suited or appropriate for particular roles. But considering that the majority of past offenses are misdemeanors, Idaho is missing out on 33% of the labor force for very trivial reasons. Moreover, people are being denied the ability to provide for themselves and their families  unable to fully reenter society  long after their debt has already been paid.


Original Article Here

Author:  Arran Stewart, Chief Visionary Officer of Job.com


Job.com is a digital recruitment innovator with a unique perspective: Delivering technology and capabilities that shake up the market by bringing together a data-driven approach based in AI and machine learning with high-level, human-capital-delivered solutions, designed to efficiently attract and retain the right talent and provide consumer-level user experiences throughout the hiring process.

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Topics: Talent Acquisition, Workforce

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