Sometimes opportunity finds you. In 2003, Cherry Hills Community Church called Baby Bud's Director Dianne Sager with a question. The recovery organization that had been cleaning their facility had just closed and Cherry Hills needed a new partner. Would Baby Bud's be interested in cleaning the school at Cherry Hills? Normally a retail baby store would think twice about committing to a job completely unrelated to its core business. But Dianne had 20 years of experience managing a janitorial company prior to Baby Buds. She saw this as a new opportunity to employ more single moms. Within a couple of weeks, Baby Bud's added five single moms for a cleaning crew and Freedom Cleaning Services was born. Within a year, the business had grown to employ ten women with several other churches and commercial businesses as clients. One of the challenges to any business start-up is maintaining the focus on your core business when other opportunities arise. Sometimes it's good to pursue
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If an ex-offender finds a job upon exiting prison, research shows that his or her chances of going back to jail are significantly reduced saving the $50,000 a year it costs a state to incarcerate an individual. With that in mind, Belay Enterprises' latest start-up New Beginnings Custom Woodworks employs and job-trains ex-offenders like Patrick Stewart in a faith-based cabinet shop venture t hat was recently profiled on 9News and in the Denver Post . "I got out of jail 9 years ago, but was unable to find a job because of my past offense," Patrick says. "It was only when New Beginnings was willing to take a chance on me was I able to get off welfare and start supporting my family." Before starting at New Beginnings, Patrick had never built anything before. Now he's become an expert in crafting beautiful custom cabinets. "At one point in my life, I was just empty flesh walking around," he told the Denver Post , "Now, I have
I was excited to see Catherine Rohr's essay "Why You Should Hire Ex-Cons" in Inc today. She makes a wonderful case that I hope many employers will read. I've long hoped the case for ex-offender employment would start getting a wider audience. As I've written before, employers need not fear hiring ex-offenders. They provide a excellent source of dedicated workers desiring to move beyond the mistakes of their past. And while you are at it, check out the great work Rohr's organization Defy Ventures is doing in NYC. Many business owners have overlooked a great source of untapped talent: former inmates. Many former drug dealers and gang leaders have skills and attributes you value most in employees, including charisma, resourcefulness, resilience, a willingness to take calculated risks, and strong management skills. " Why You Should Hire Ex-Cons ," Catherine Rohr in Inc , June 25, 2012 Read rest of the story here .