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  • Melissa Dickerson

'Practicing What They Preach': A Look Inside Koch’s Second-Chance Hiring Efforts

(original article can be found at the Koch Newsroom: https://news.kochind.com/news/2021/second-chance-hiring-a-look-inside-koch)

In February 2020, Koch Industries developed and deployed the "Creating Second Chances" strategy, which guides Koch companies in making a concerted effort to recruit and hire formerly incarcerated people. These former inmates total 9% of the U.S. population. The strategy is rooted in the belief that everyone in society wins when individuals are afforded the opportunity to realize their potential and positively contribute to their communities.

“A lot of companies can hire and say that they do hire individuals with criminal records, but it really takes that conviction of a company saying, ‘We’re going to do everything we can to hire talent that has a record,’” says Harley Blakeman, the founder and head of Honest Jobs Inc., an Ohio-based company that partners with Koch and other employers to place job seekers looking for felony-friendly jobs.
“It’s something Koch does an excellent job of,” Harley says. “Koch has just gone above and beyond.”

Koch posts hundreds of jobs each month on a nationwide online job listing run by Honest Jobs, and in return, Honest Jobs sends about 40 justice-involved candidates a month to the attention of Koch.

“The people at Koch practice what they preach,” Harley says. “They’re doing it. They’re hiring formerly incarcerated people to the benefit of all involved.”
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