The Job Shuffle

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I’m back in Indy today.

When Mayor Greg Ballard was elected in Indianapolis, one of the things he was concerned with was the number of ex-offenders who would be released into Marion County every year.  What type of chance did these people – mostly men – have for successful re-entry, if they couldn’t get employment?

So often, one of the first questions on a job application is, “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?”  If you answer yes, many times it’s over.  Mayor Ballard’s hope was to set up a program where employers could be matched up with ex-offenders who had been pre-screened, and who had gone through training and preparation for employment.  He felt we had to give these men a chance to at least tell their stories and get an opportunity to work.

Today, the Mayor held the job fair he envisioned and I was there.  Of course, it’s not only ex-offenders who are looking for work, these days.  In this economy, many people have lost their jobs.