On July 1, 2014, according to a blog posting from the Council of State Governments, “[b]usiness executives and policymakers found common ground during a meeting at the White House on Monday designed to review ways in which government can help—or hinder—efforts to improve employment outcomes for people with criminal records.” The program, “Pathways to Prosperity: How Public and Private Sectors Can Put People with Criminal Records to Work”, was moderated by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. According to the blog, “More than 1,650 corrections, reentry, and labor professionals across 41 states participated virtually in the event, organized by the White House Domestic Policy Council, the Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG Justice Center), and the National Reentry Resource Center.” CDIA reviewed part one and part two of the two part webcast. Employers discussed how they delay conducting criminal background checks (Home Depot) and hire people with criminal histories (True North restaurants, Columbus, OH). Businesses can make successful HR decisions with the EEOC guidance (Johns Hopkins).Around the Pathways to Prosperity program, the White House also named over a dozen people as Champions of Change, people “who are doing extraordinary work to facilitate employment opportunities for individuals formerly involved in the justice system.” Attorney General Eric Holder honored these Champions of Change at a White House ceremony on June 30, 2014.
Eric J. Ellman is Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) in Washington, DC. He also served for eight months as Interim President and CEO of the Association. More