Commissioner Kevin Lindsey, Minnesota Department of Human Rights

Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey 

Twin Cities R!SE has developed the “Minnesota Employers’ Fair Chance Hiring Guide” to support efforts to recruit, hire, train and retain job seekers with criminal records.

The kick-off event to present the guide takes place April 26 at Sunrise Bank, 525 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis. Commissioner Kevin Lindsey, Minnesota Department of Human Rights, will host a panel discussion during this free event.

“Minnesota is facing a historic labor shortage, yet many Minnesota residents and potential workers remain unemployed or under-employed due to a past criminal conviction, despite having served their time and wanting to be a productive, contributing member of our community,” said Tom Streitz, president and CEO of Twin Cities R!SE. “The ‘Minnesota Fair Chance Employers’ Guide’ provides a clear path for Minnesota corporations and businesses to hire those with criminal convictions in their past. It is a practical how-to guide that dispels the many myths surrounding hiring those with criminal history in their backgrounds.”

Streitz said by learning how to evaluate such applicants, employers can increase their supply of talented employees, meet their legal obligations and improve their communities.

“The time is now, for both moral and economic reasons, for Minnesota employers to engage in an intentional and proactive strategy to move marginalized workers into the mainstream of their hiring practices,” said Streitz. “We hope this ‘how-to’ guide will become an active road map for employers to start hiring talented individuals into their workforce.”

“In 2014, all employers implemented Ban the Box statewide, which really just moved the compliance topic and inquiry to the end of the hiring process versus the beginning,” said Jacquelyn Carpenter, business development manager at Twin Cities R!SE. “What Ban the Box did not do was provide employers with tools to properly guide them through approaching this topic differently during their hiring process. This guide will now provide that second step and address changing the hiring strategies that hinder employers and community members.”

The guide was developed in partnership with Root & Rebound, a workforce organization in California. Minnesota is now the third state to produce this guide as a resource for employers.

For more information on the event, the guide, and to register, go to www.fair-chance-mn.eventbrite.com. All attendees will receive a free copy of the guide.

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