John Shegerian, CEO of Electronics Recyclers International, was one of the co-founders of faith venture Homeboy Industries back in 1993. In a recent BNET post, Why I Hire Former Convicts and Gang Members, he details how that experience was a foundational moment in his life and impacts his current venture. He is now a vocal advocate for hiring ex-offenders:
I think our hiring practices make our company stronger because they show that our management is sensitive to the human condition. We’re all one accident or one tragedy away from being in a tight spot. Business can be a battle, but when a company shows its DNA this way, it makes for a very tight-knit group and helps us work together.
There’s not a community in America that isn’t suffering from drug, gang, and recidivism problems. People coming out of those situations without structure are going to go back to what they know, whether that’s a gang or dealing marijuana or smoking crack. If every business owner hired just one person from the margins, it could make a world of difference within the community. Helping people get that second chance is our great opportunity and our great challenge.
Read the rest here.