How does one become a second chance employer, and why aren’t more companies doing it? Maybe they don’t know how.
But there’s a new way to learn the ropes. One company that knows very well, Dave’s Killer Bread, has increased its efforts to encourage more employers to embrace second chance employment.
And the company is doing that through its Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation, the nonprofit arm that the Milwaukee, Ore.,-based organic bread maker launched early last year. The foundation is creating a variety of programs, including more Second Chance Summits and a Second Chance Playbook, as well as a Second Chance Network to be launched in the future.
The reason for the foundation?
“It’s the formalization of the work we’ve been doing as a company over the past decade in hiring people with criminal backgrounds,” says Genevieve Martin, the foundation’s director.
“What we learned in talking to our partners and nonprofits and government agencies is that there aren’t enough employers who will look at this part of the workforce, and we decided to be leaders in expanding employment opportunities for people with criminal backgrounds.” And the foundation is in the process of putting together more programs to do this.
First Second Chance Summit on East Coast
Although it has held two Second Chance Summits in Portland, the DKB Foundation will host its first 2016 Second Chance Summit East at The New School in New York City on May 24.
The day’s events will include a keynote address by Glenn Martin, founder and president of Just Leadership USA, and a panel of second chance employers who will address the topic of debunking myths. Food will be prepared by the Snow Day Food Truck operated by Drive Change.
The goal is to bring together like-minded employers who can work together to bring about change. “We didn’t want to confine ourselves to speaking only our story the Dave’s Killer bread way. Our way won’t work for everyone. The foundation is collaborative,” Martin says.
Playbook teaches companies how to be second chance employers
The Second Chance Playbook, which launched this month, is a collection of videos on a variety of topics educating companies on issues related to second chance employment. They’re each three to five minutes long, something that employers can watch during their lunch or coffee breaks, according to Martin.
The videos include interviews with subject matter experts, including h.r. professionals in organizations that hire people with criminal backgrounds, an insurance broker speaking about risk mitigation, and people talking about federal incentives that companies can take advantage of, EEOC compliance and background checks, among other subjects.
The Playbook has launched with 10 videos on the foundation’s website and is available to anyone free of charge. All one has to do is register.
Second Chance Network will bring employers together
Another initiative, the Second Chance Network, is coming soon and will have three layers.
“One will be second chance employers who are interested in mentoring other organizations and are fine in being a mouthpiece. They’re the true champions,” said Martin.
“Another layer is going to highlight re-entry hubs (around the nation) that can supply resources, and the third layer that we’re paying the most attention to is speaking with employers to encourage them to look at programs and staffing networks through which they can recruit from directly.”
The foundation, which gets funding from Dave’s Killer Bread company as well as private donors, is dedicated to being an agent of change.
“What’s most important for people to understand is that business has the power to affect true change right now. We don’t have to wait for legislation or nonprofits to get more funding,” says Martin. “A business can decide tomorrow that they will hire one person, and that will make a huge impact and ripple across the country.”