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LA Forum Encourages Employers to Hire Former Offenders

Last month, the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA), the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College (LATTC) hosted the Los Angeles Employer Forum at LATTC, encouraging business owners to hire trained former offenders.
Also partnering with this event are the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, The City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department and the California Workforce Investment Board.
“This is the second Employer Forum we’ve hosted this year and it’s a win-win for employers and the general public,” said Charles Pattillo, General Manager of CALPIA. “It’s important for employers to hear about the benefits of hiring former offenders, not only do they receive tax credits and insurance savings, but they help taxpayers save money and keep communities safer.”
Dozens of employers attended the forum and learned about accessing a pool of trained, skilled and certified workers. Business owners also discovered how to reduce their recruitment and training costs through work opportunity tax credits and fidelity bonding options.
Former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor Elect, Hilda Solis, was the keynote speaker and encouraged business owners to provide those second chances for this skilled workforce.
Also speaking at the event was Vice President of Human Resources of the Staples Center, Nokia Theatre and LA Live, Joe Herrera, who provided positive stories of hiring former offenders.
CALPIA trains over 8,000 offenders per year in service, manufacturing and agricultural industries in California’s penal institutions. CALPIA is self-supporting and does not receive an appropriation from the state budget.
CALPIA participants returned to prison, on average, 26-38 percent less often than offenders released from the CDCR general population.

October 17, 2014

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