Hiring felons is a way to integrate them back into society after they exit from prison. However, employers are scared to do so for a number of reasons including the potential for further criminal activity, lack of skills and a damaged reputation. On the other hand, a former felon could be a hard worker to prove themselves and will probably be willing to accept lower pay. There are several organizations and programs that provide support for hiring felons in Washington D.C.
Government Work Crew
One popular place for ex-offenders to find work is with the District of Columbia or Federal government on one of many work crews. In particular, there are always positions available cleaning parks, highways and other exterior locations. The government is especially eager to hire ex-offenders to ease the rehabilitation process and re-entry to society as a productive working person.
Many building maintenance crews are staffed by ex-felons. These small management firms seek to hire U.S. citizens that will work hard at odd hours for low-pay and may not have a high skill level. The workers will be responsible for waxing and vacuuming floors, washing walls, emptying trash cans, cleaning bathrooms and other duties. The high turnover in this position provides a good opportunity to find a job in this category.
Construction teams are potential high-paying jobs that an ex-felon can obtain. Union construction jobs may pay $40 or $50 per hour depending on the skill level. Due to the pay and wide base of people that can perform these skills, these jobs are often quite competitive. However, an applicant with the requisite skills that can demonstrate his hard work ethic may get the chance.
Another option for ex-felons is to pursue jobs as independent contractors. These positions usually require less scrutiny by the employer and have a more streamlined hiring process. However, the jobs require the applicant to a solid skill set that the worker can provide to the employer. The independent contractor could be a salesperson, a technician or graphic artist, for example. Felons can gain the skills for these jobs while incarcerated or in rehabilitation programs, if available.
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