Friday, December 18, 2009

'Strategies for Hiring the Hidden Worforce'

The headline of this post is the title of an education workshop for employers sponsored yesterday by the local chamber of commerce in Waco, as reported in today's Tribune-Herald:

Dennis Brooks said he’s always looking to hire diesel mechanics, and he would gladly hire a disabled person or an ex-convict if he or she can get the job done.

That’s why he attended an education workshop Thursday titled “Strategies for Employing the Hidden Workforce,” presented at the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce’s headquarters.

“Diesel technicians are hard to find, and I’ve spent a lot of time on the Texas Workforce Commission Web site,” said Brooks, with Volvo & Mack Trucks of Waco, who lost an ex-convict to an employer in the Dallas area. ...

Project RIO, short for Re-Integration of Offenders, is another service available locally at McLennan County Workforce Solutions, 1416 S. New Road. Felons in their first 12 months of parole from a state jail, prison or Texas Youth Commission facility can take workshops on interviewing and preparing resumes. They also get job leads, labor market information, referrals to community agencies and referrals for training.

Those hiring ex-felons can receive tax credits. Vincent Sassi of the Texas Workforce Commission said tax credit certifications were issued for 520 former felons in the Waco area between July 1, 2008, and Nov. 30, 2009.

A lot of the strategies one sees for addressing this problem are local and moving the local power interests can be difficult, so I'm especially pleased to see the local business community taking leadership on this topic.

Related Grits posts:


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a job for Jay Kimbrough to take on. Call Gov. Perry and have him appoint Kimbrough to get jobs for ex-cons. Oh I forgot he fires all the ex-cons he can...

Anonymous said...

Fix the typo.