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.”

 


LBMC Gains Bryan Mattice

LBMC, PC, one of the Southeast’s largest accounting and business consulting firms, has added Bryan Mattice to the Accounting and Assurance services team. Bryan Mattice, CPA,   serves as a staff accountant serving a variety of industry clients in the Accounting and Assurance service team. Mr. Mattice comes to LBMC from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee where he worked ... (click for more)

Tennessee American Water Submits 2015 Infrastructure Capital Projects

Tennessee American Water has submitted to the Tennessee Regulatory Authority its 2015 infrastructure capital projects in conjunction with the new alternative rate mechanism.   Approved earlier in 2014 by the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, the alternative rate mechanism creates a process whereby Tennessee American Water will annually submit by December 1 its capital infrastructure ... (click for more)

Downtown Chattanooga Apartment Complex Fetches $15 Million

Walnut Commons, the first downtown apartment complex built in many years, sold for $15 million, one of the developers said. John Clark said the initial estimate on the project was $11 million and it wound up costing around $12 million to build. "We're very pleased with the sale," he said. Mr. Clark, along with partners David Hudson and Bob McKenzie, are selling their stock ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Principal Ronald Hughes Named Tennessee's 2014-15 Principal Of The Year

A Hamilton County elementary school principal and an Anderson County supervisor have earned top honors for their work in Tennessee education. Ronald Hughes, principal of Apison Elementary School in Chattanooga, was named Tennessee’s 2014-15 Principal of the Year. He has served as principal at Apison Elementary for the past six years, and spent three decades working in Tennessee ... (click for more)

Congratulations To Ron Hughes

Hearty congratulations to Ron Hughes for being selected as Tennessee State Elementary Principal of the Year for 2014. Wherever Ron has been assigned as principal, he has exhibited strong leadership both academically and morally. His faith in God and his love for the students of Hamilton County have guided his actions and everyone that has benefited from the excellent education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Brittany’s Days Dwindle

So here we are, facing what is known as “Devil’s Night” before Halloween comes, and the almost macabre news now comes that Brittany Maynard, the beautiful girl who has chosen to end her life as soon as Saturday, is struggling to meet her own deadline. She has inoperable brain cancer and, at best, only months to live. The 29-year-old, who was married shortly before her devastating ... (click for more)