Acquisition will accelerate JFF’s Center for Justice & Economic Advancement toward an ambitious goal of helping thousands of people with criminal records find employment within the next two years
BOSTON, Dec. 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Jobs for the Future (JFF), a national nonprofit driving transformation in the American workforce and education systems, today announced it has acquired the nationally-respected Second Chance Hiring program from Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation (DKBF), a nonprofit leader in creating employment opportunities for people with criminal records and equipping business leaders to adopt fair chance hiring practices. The addition of the program to JFF’s portfolio of innovative workforce programs will expand the impact of its Center for Justice & Economic Advancement (the Center), which is working to improve employment opportunities for people with records nationwide.
“We have long been an admirer of the work DKBF has done to not only advocate for fair chance hiring but also to train and guide employers on best practices to ensure people with records receive the equitable employment opportunities they deserve,” said Lucretia Murphy, JFF vice president and the director of the Center. “The addition of DKBF’s respected cohort-based training program and expert staff will bring invaluable new expertise and capacity as we expand our work in the field of fair chance hiring.”
With approximately 70 million people in the United States living with criminal records and nearly 600,000 individuals released from prison each year—a disproportionate number of whom are people of color—the need to advance fair chance hiring practices has never been greater. DKBF and the Center have been working independently to expand employment opportunities for people returning to the community after incarceration and other people with records by changing employer practices in multiple industries and sectors.
Established in 2015 as a social impact initiative and extension of Dave’s Killer Bread’s commitment to fair chance employment practices, DKBF mobilizes the business community to adopt and implement fair chance employment. Inspired by Dave’s Killer Bread co-founder Dave Dahl’s personal experiences with incarceration, the foundation trains business leaders and produces resources on how to adopt and implement fair chance hiring.
Over the past seven years, DKBF has worked to deploy this model through its Second Chance Corporate Cohort, an eight-week course that helps talent and HR leaders evaluate their company’s current hiring practices and create a customized implementation plan for fair chance employment. The organization has built a strong network of alumni with 34 companies that have completed the program, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, General Motors, Union Pacific Railroad, Cisco, Vistra Corp., Koch Group, and Gap, Inc.
“The Second Chance Cohort fundamentally changed the way I think about second chance hiring,” said Landon Pearson, chief people officer at Demandbase, an account-based marketing company with nearly 1,000 employees. “I started with the belief that this was a good thing for Demandbase to participate in as a social and cultural initiative. After completing the program, I realize that tapping into the skills and talents of people who have been incarcerated is a competitive advantage that strengthens the business.”
DKBF also provides individual advice to business leaders, customized training programs for employers in specific industries, and curated tools and resources for the field. It is also a founding partner of the Second Chance Business Coalition, a group of cross-sector private companies and organizations committed to fair chance hiring.
“Jobs for the Future has a well-earned reputation as an organization with a unique ability to bridge the divide between policy, programs and employer practice,” said Genevieve Martin, founding executive director of DKBF. “Joining this team is a natural evolution of our work and will create opportunities for us to achieve our mission at a larger scale as a member of a mission-driven organization with deep connections to employers, education and training providers and policymakers.”
Martin will join JFF as a senior director and continue to lead employer initiatives around fair chance hiring through the Center, along with project coordinator, Crystal Mourlas-Juan, who will join JFF as a project manager.
“Employers who embrace the talents and skills of people with records create opportunities that benefit returning citizens and their businesses,” said Maria Flynn, president and CEO of JFF. “Jobs for the Future is a fair chance employer, and we know that giving people a fair chance to move forward with their lives and their careers also makes it possible for JFF to advance our mission and impact.”
JFF’s Center for Justice & Economic Advancement takes a multidimensional approach to fair chance hiring by connecting employers to policy, advocacy, and talent development. Building on DKBF’s demonstrated impact and leadership, the Center will deepen existing relationships in the field of fair chance hiring and expand to new and diverse networks of employers and industry associations interested in creating employment opportunities for people with records.
“Since its inception, Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation has led the fight for fair chance hiring and improving employment opportunities for people with records,” said John Purcell, director of strategic partnerships for Stand Together, a nonprofit organization and founding partner of the Second Chance Business Coalition who bring together a philanthropic community to address the country’s most pressing issues. “We are excited for this work to have an even greater impact as part of JFF’s Center for Justice & Economic Advancement. By expanding the reach of this programming through JFF’s national network of education, workforce, and employer partners, millions of workers impacted by the justice system will have a better chance to achieve economic mobility.”
ABOUT JFF: Jobs for the Future (JFF) drives transformation of the American workforce and education systems to achieve equitable economic advancement for all. www.jff.org
ABOUT DKBF: DKBF is a nonprofit organization that was established in 2015 as an extension of Dave’s Killer Bread (DKB) to mobilize the business community to adopt and implement second chance employment (also known as fair chance employment).