The ReEntry Development Initiative discussion, as part of the Chamber U Diversity & Inclusion Series, was paneled by Jeffrey D. Korzenik, senior vice president and chief investment strategist for Fifth Third Bank; Sarah Pawlicki, attorney for Eastman & Smith Ltd.; Lisa Bloomfield, president of Credit Adjustments, Inc.; and Matt Grafton, regional director for A Renewed Mind. The TRCC’s own Brian Dicken, MOD, IOM, vice president of advocacy and public policy, moderated the discussion.
Topics included how human resource professionals can properly vet and do due diligence in making fair chance hires and how to determine whether a given applicant is right for your position. More specifically, panelists discussed how a flexible and transparent workplace culture, a variety of benefits, and a wide collection of resources are invaluable for fair chance hires.
Korzenik discussed that it’s of utmost importance that employers know the needs of all of their employees, especially employees convicted of felonies. Those needs might include adjusting working hours to accommodate visits with parole officers, educating new employees about workplace etiquette or supporting new employees in pursuit of a driver’s license, Korzenik said, but it’s important employers stay flexible in order to give fair chance hires a real shot.
Bloomfield shared an anecdote about a fair chance hire who didn’t have proper workplace attire, as the hire had never worked in an office environment before. Credit Adjustments Inc. connected the hire with the resources necessary to get them appropriate new clothes, and provided education on what is and is not suitable to wear.
Grafton, who has a prior felony conviction himself and now works with fair chance hires in his position at A Renewed Mind, discussed that it’s vital that employers understand a past mistake doesn’t mean a person is “bad.” While he admits he was faced with some resistance upon reentering the workforce, the onus was on him to prove his work ethic and drive to his coworkers and employer. Now, he’s a living example of a successful second chance hire.
Ready to expand your own workforce, but aren’t sure how to get started? The Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce’s goal is to help employers grow their businesses, make connections with other leaders in the community and continue to make the Toledo Region a phenomenal place to live and work.
Keeping in line with that vision, the TRCC has developed the Re-Entry Development Initiative (REDI), to help educate and encourage employers in the world of fair chance hiring. To learn more about REDI and to download the Fair Chance Hiring Guidebook free, please visit ToledoChamber.com/REDI.
In the Chamber’s Fair Chance Hiring Guidebook, we highlight resources such as incentives and support, compliance considerations and additional support available to employers. This guidebook is meant to serve as a resource and not intended to provide legal advice when considering fair chance or other hiring practices. You are encouraged to work with your legal counsel to discuss specific situations and circumstances.
Driving A Better Bottom Line through Diversity and Inclusion
Don’t miss our next event on veteran hires. Registration is free for TRCC members, or $20 for non-members. Seating is limited, and light refreshments and coffee will be available.
Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019: Attracting, Hiring and Retaining Veteran Talent
- Led by Meghan Michael, PHR, SHRM-CP, retired Navy veteran and owner of HR Navigator
- 8-9:30 a.m.
- At the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce