Vermont Interfaith Action News

Working for a Second Chance 2.0 Motivates Business to Hire the Formerly Incarcerated

December 20, 2017

Here's an example of the commitments that need to be made by a business owner considering second chance hires:




DECEMBER 13, 2017


I pledge to take active steps to offer more job opportunities to those who need a second chance. Here are some of the steps I will explore (check as many as you want):


—       I will investigate the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for hiring formerly incarcerated individuals and other target groups with barriers to employment

—       I will investigate the Federal Bonding Program and how it can protect my business

—       I will post job openings at my business with the Department of Corrections (DOC)

—       I will advise the Community High School of Vermont about real-world conditions in the trades that they could provide training for

—       I will participate in mock job interviews at DOC facilities

—       I will consider volunteering as a mentor to a recently released offender

—       I am aware that as of July 1, 2017 Vermont prohibits asking about criminal records during the initial phase of the hiring process and will fully comply

—       I will offer a chance, during subsequent phases of the hiring process, for an applicant to explain the context of his/her crime and how they have changed

—       If I hire a formerly incarcerated person in the future, I will set clear expectations, including:

n  Time that the employee is expected to show up for work, and any grace period or exceptions allowed

n  The time and mode of communication that needs to be initiated by the employee if s/he will be late or absent

n  The attitude and demeanor toward co-workers, clients or customers that should be expressed

n  The appropriate treatment of his/her supervisor

n  The grievance procedure when the employee has concerns about the treatment toward him/her by a supervisor or co-workers

—       If I hire a formerly incarcerated person, I will take these special circumstances into consideration:

o   The employee may need flexible time to meet with their parole or probation officer

o   The employee may need flexible time to consult with a support group or mentor

o   The employee may need my understanding as s/he deals with housing or transportation challenges


Signed _______________________________________    Date _________________




I am willing to have VIA or the DoC contact me to follow up about giving folks a second chance:


Name: ______________________________  Business: _________________________


Street address __________________________   City _________________ ZIP ______



Office phone _______________________  Cell phone __________________________