Although plenty of people in our community need work, many of them aren't qualified for the existing job openings. But even if you are qualified, if you have a felony on your record - even a non-violent offense from long ago - you're automatically disqualified from most good jobs.
That leaves a lot of people without hope -- which leads to anger, frustration and sometimes worse. If you work, you know how important your job is in defining yourself.
Perhaps those of us who run businesses should consider this felony situation differently. Instead of automatically disqualifying a candidate for a felony, maybe we should take the opposite approach -- go out of our way to meet with them and learn what the felony was for. If it was non-violent, and they served their debt to society, why not consider hiring them?
Years ago, I interviewed a woman with a felony conviction. Other prospective employers ended her interview as soon as they found out. She told me her crime was embezzlement and she'd served her time. She had a daughter with cancer and couldn't afford the treatments. She knew it was wrong to steal but she needed money she didn't have.
I wouldn't have hired her in our accounting department. But I did hire her for another job, and she's still there today - a model employee.
Sometimes, labels hurt much more than they help in judging people.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my Point of View.