Norris Calls For Conversation On Helping Those With Criminal Records Get Jobs

Monday, June 30, 2014

Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, chairman of the Council of State Governments (CSG), called on all states to convene their respective business leaders to discuss ways in which government can help—and hinder—efforts to improve employment outcomes for people with criminal records.

The announcement came after his “State Pathways to Prosperity” initiative inspired a meeting Monday at the White House, bringing together business executives and local, state, and federal government officials to help crystalize obstacles between the public and private sectors preventing the hiring of those with prior convictions.

“Elected officials across the political spectrum are focusing on high unemployment rates among millions of adults with criminal records,” Senator Norris said. “We recognize that government alone can’t solve this problem. Today is a terrific demonstration of the kind of private-sector dialogue we need to design strategies that are good for business and that put people who are now law-abiding citizens to work. We’re calling on all states to have the same kind of conversations at the state level.”

The event, coordinated by The White House Domestic Policy Council, the CSG Justice Center, and the National Reentry Resource Center, featured a roundtable of executives from small-, medium-, and large-sized businesses, including Home Depot and Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, as well as policymakers from all levels of government.

“Today’s conversation highlights how businesses need to be thoughtful about these types of hiring decisions to ensure we address the estimated 65 million people of working age who have criminal records in this country,” Senator Norris said. “A criminal record isn’t something that should be ignored, but, depending on how it relates to the responsibilities of the position advertised, it’s also not something that should automatically disqualify someone from a job.”

Senator Norris hopes the latest discussions will serve as motivation for similar conversations to begin in individual states across the country. He also noted that, for those states interested in coordinating discussions between the public and private sectors, the National Reentry Resource Center is prepared to provide guidance and assistance.

The State Pathways to Prosperity is a 2014 initiative designed to encourage states to enact changes to bolster the skills of American workers to ensure they meet the demands of companies and secure employment. The gap between employer demand and the number of qualified workers is widening due to a variety of factors, including children living in poverty, people battling hunger and poor nutrition, veterans’ difficulties in meeting certification and degree requirements, and people who have been involved in the criminal justice system.

“The jobs are available for the people with the skills to secure them,” Senator Norris said. “We have a unique opportunity to help train these individuals and prepare them for the workforce upon their release from prison or jail. Finding employment is the toughest challenge they’ll face, but it’s also a pivotal step towards staying out of lockup and being a productive member of society.”

 


Alexander Votes To Confirm Wilbur Ross To Serve As Secretary Of Commerce

Senator Lamar Alexander on Monday released the following statement on his vote to confirm Wilbur Ross to serve as U.S. Secretary of Commerce: “Wilbur Ross understands that we need to liberate our free enterprise system and create a better environment for growing jobs. I look forward to working with him.” (click for more)

GDOL To Help Express Employment Professionals Recruit In Summerville

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) will help Express Employment Professionals, a staffing agency, recruit about 15 creelers to work for Mohawk Industries in Lyerly. The recruitment will be held on  Thursday, March 16 , from  10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  at the Summerville Civic Center located at 44 Highway 48 in Summerville. Due to U.S. Occupational Safety ... (click for more)

Car Crosses Center Line And Grazes Bradley School Bus; 3 Students Taken To Hospital For Observation

A car came across the center line and grazed the right side bumper of a school bus in Bradley County on Monday afternoon. Three students were taken to the hospital for observation. School officials said Bradley County School bus #48 was involved in the accident on Old Chattanooga Pike and Black Fox Road. Students were assessed and three were taken to the hospital ... (click for more)

NASA Employee Gets 10-Year Federal Prison Term After Being Caught In Child Sex Sting In Chattanooga; De Matties Placed Ad Looking For "Petite Young Teenage Slut"

Thomas de Matteis, 54, of Hazel Green, Ala., was sentenced on Monday by Federal Judge Sandy Mattice to serve 10 years in federal prison for coercing or enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity. Matteis entered a guilty plea to the charge in November 2016.   At the time of his offenses, Matteis was employed by NASA in Alabama.  An investigation started by ... (click for more)

Embrace America - And Response (2)

Okay, Hollywierd we get it. The world of entertainment and cinema arts do not support President Trump. But for all their derisive and divisive speech, truth remains. People who support conservative values do not hate children, we do not hate immigrants, we do not hate other races and ethnicities although that is all you trumpet at every opportunity.  What we do support ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Way 'Over The Line'

Every day last week a Chattanooga woman sent me a press release for a “Recess Week of Action,” which was the greatest example of “an exercise in futility” that I can recall in recent years. I absolutely refuse to attend, write, or publicize such a group of admittedly-questionable political agitators. Please, I have never seen anything like this! Sometime soon, I suspect, the truth ... (click for more)