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Update: Hiring DC Residents with a Criminal Record Makes Sense

Over 120 people attended the “Hiring People with a Criminal Record” forum on Wednesday, September 17. Moderated by PNC Bank Regional President Michael Harreld, the event included remarks by D.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO Harry Wingo and presentations by a number of businesses and experts in the areas of reentry and employment.

The forum came out of CCE’s work with a variety of stakeholders over the past several years to increase employment opportunities for people with criminal records. This includes CCE’s 2011 report on this issue, as well as policy analysis that was instrumental in creating the Reentry Facilitation Amendment Act of 2012.  As forum speaker and DC Council Chair Phil Mendelson emphasized, employment is critically important to success for people returning to the community from prison. Unfortunately, unemployment still remains high among those with a history of justice system involvement.

“This forum wasn’t an end to CCE’s work in this area,” noted CCE executive director June Kress. “There’s a lot more to be done, particularly around educating employers on legislation related to hiring and on how returning citizens can be a positive addition to their workforce. We are excited to have such great partners in the business and nonprofit communities, including the Chamber and the DC Jobs Council, as well as in agencies such as CSOSA, CJCC, ORCA and the Office of the Attorney General. We look forward to expanding the network of partners in the next phase of this effort.” 





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