Investing In, Hiring Workers with Criminal Records Focus of CCT’s Feb. 25 Second Chance Employment Summit

Second Chance Employment Summit

Investing in untapped talent – workers with criminal and conviction records – is the focus of Center for Community Transitions’ virtual summit, “Greater Charlotte Pathways Home: An Executive Convening on Second Chance Employment.”

The online event will be held from 7:30 to 9 a.m., Feb. 25, for second-chance employers, workforce development professionals, hiring managers and the Charlotte business community.

“The purpose of the virtual gathering is to highlight the community-wide benefits of tapping into this workforce talent pool and ways we can work together to change the narrative around hiring people with criminal records through education and advocacy,” said Executive Director Patrice Funderburg.

She added, “Employment helps people with criminal records gain economic stability after release and reduces the likelihood they’ll return to prison. By investing in workers with criminal records, we can gain positive employment, wage and recidivism outcomes, improve family stability and promote public safety to benefit the whole community.”

Event speakers include NC Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls and NC Attorney General Josh Stein, who will discuss second chance advocacy. Jeffrey Korzenik, chief investment strategist with Fifth Third Bank, will discuss why businesses should “open their minds to second-chance hiring practices.” He explores the economic impact of investing in workers with criminal records in his upcoming book, “Untapped Talent: How Second Chance Hiring Works for Your Business and the Community.”

Also speaking is Charlotte Regional Business Alliance CEO Janet LeBar and SHRM Foundation Executive Director Wendi Safstrom, who will address the importance of investing in workforce development. They’ll identify ways companies and businesses can attract, hire and retain workers with criminal and conviction records.

Additionally, County Manager Dena R. Diorio will outline Mecklenburg County’s commitment to second chance employment. “Workforce development was identified as a key priority at the county commission’s recent budget retreat,” she said. “These programs provide hope to those who need help, and benefits the entire community when folks get a second chance to support themselves and their families.”

Bank of America is sponsoring “Greater Charlotte Pathways Home: An Executive Convening on Second Chance Employment.”

“This important workforce effort provides individuals reentering society access to necessary training and services, which will give them a better shot at getting back on their feet,” said Bank of America’s Charlotte Market President Charles Bowman. “Their desire and motivation to be gainfully employed and a community contributor is there, but they need help to achieve it.”

The event is presented in partnership with Charlotte Works, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont, NCIA, Center for Employment Opportunities, North Carolina Justice Center, Envoy, NC Department of Public Safety, and the GreenLight Foundation.