We know from data from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) that employers believe in second chances and make careful, thoughtful decisions in hiring ex-offenders. We applaud businesses to take the necessary steps to hire ex-offenders.
The SHRM data backs up nationally a survey we recently discovered in locally from Idaho. In 2005 the Idaho Department of Commerce & Labor, in Partnership with Idaho State Police and Idaho Department of Corrections, surveyed Idaho employers “to measure how receptive Idaho employers are to hiring ex-offenders”. The Idaho “[s]urvey results indicate a high disposition on the part of Idaho employers to hire ex-offenders.”
The survey focused in on several trades and professions and the willingness of employers in these areas to hire ex-offenders. In the building and construction trades, for example, between 74% and 88% of businesses would hire ex-offenders for jobs like welding, commercial trucking, and electrical wiring. These are “good” paying jobs according to the survey. And for public-facing jobs, 86% of employers in accommodation and food service would hire ex-offenders and 72% of retail employers.
Enhancing Employment Opportunities for Ex-Offenders: A Survey of Idaho Employers by Idaho Commerce & Labor in Partnership with Idaho State Police and Idaho Department of Corrections, Idaho Commerce & Labor, 2006, available at https://labor.idaho.gov/publications/Employment_Oppor_ExOffenders.pdf.
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