Episode 30

The Prison Post #30 Jeff Korzenik, Author of Untapped Talent: How Second Chance Hiring Works for your Business and the Community

Published on: 9th June, 2021

The Prison Post Podcast is honored to have the author of "Untapped Talent," on our podcast! Jeff is a remarkable man on a transformative mission. CROP Organization's Executive Director, Ted Gray, and Director of Business Development, Ken Oliver, have an excellent conversation with him about fair chance hiring. Please watch, comment, subscribe, and order a copy of his book here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Untapped+Talent&i=digital-text&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

Jeff Korzenik is Chief Investment Strategist for one of the nation’s largest banks, where he is responsible for the investment strategy and the allocation of over $40 billion in assets. For more than 30 years, Jeff has been known in the investment management industry for the clarity and originality he brings to complex challenges. A regular guest on CNBC, Fox Business News, and Bloomberg TV, his insights into the economy, markets, manufacturing, and the workforce are frequently cited in the financial and business press.

What is "Untapped Talent: How Second Chance Hiring Works for your Business and the Community" about? This work shares the business case and best practices of “second chance hiring,” employing people with criminal records. The first and only book of its kind, “Untapped Talent” is meant to inform and inspire business leaders to broaden their hiring to this population. This is a disciplined and realistic look at this issue – not everyone with a record is ready for employment, and even those that are may require additional support. Based on the successful experience of pioneering second chance employers around the country, “Untapped Talent” identifies the challenges and opportunities in hiring people who have been marginalized from the workforce. The book covers the realities of our criminal justice system, models of hiring (both successful and unsuccessful), overcoming objections, implementation, refinement and where employers can find the resources. Within the pages of the book, readers will learn more about the business leaders who have led the way in giving people a chance. Beyond numerous lessons and anecdotes throughout the book, an entire chapter is devoted to the case study of an Ohio manufacturer, whose business and company culture were transformed by this experience.

Why this matters? The United States has 19 million people with a felony conviction, including one in three Black men. Along with the additional tens of millions burdened with misdemeanor convictions, “people with records” represent an enormous underutilized labor resource.

On a macroeconomic level, higher workforce growth drives faster growth for everyone. The United States, and virtually the whole world faces a demographic challenge ahead. Our best opportunity lies in bringing marginalized workers into employment and giving them a chance to be as productive as possible.

On a company level, using the model explained in the book, second chance employees are on average more engaged and more loyal, leading to lower turnover costs and higher productivity. Contributing to a worthy social cause in this way makes companies more attractive to investors, employees and customers alike.

On a societal level, this is the right thing to do, one of the most important ways businesses can engage in solving social problems. When people who have made a mistake and paid for that error continue to suffer the penalty of workforce barriers, we create injustice, reduced public safety, family dysfunction, and intergenerational poverty. As a country, we cannot hope to get to equality of opportunity across racial lines, until we offer people the opportunity to move beyond their worst moment. Second chance hiring is the solution. The road to a better society must be paved by the business community, and “Untapped Talent” is the map.

#UntappedTalent #JeffKorzenik #FairChanceHiring #CROPOrganization #ThePrisonPost #WorkingTogethertoRestoreLivesandHealingCommunities #ReimaginingReentry

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About the Podcast

The Prison Post
Transforming Lives and Healing Communities by Reimagining Reentry
The Prison Post is a podcast interviewing leaders in the criminal justice reform, restorative justice, and social justice movements. In addition, we share the transformational stories of the currently and formerly incarcerated and highlight what CROP Organization is doing by reimagining reentry for returning citizens.
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About your host

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Richard Mireles

With a Bachelor of Arts in Healthcare Management from California Coast University, Richard is a dynamic public speaker and expert communicator with Advanced Leadership and Communication certifications with the world recognized Toastmasters International. Having spent over 21 years inside of CDCR, Richard made abundant contributions as a cofounder of the Inside Solutions think-tank and lead intern for the CROP Organization’s programs offered within institutions. An inspiring leader and powerful orator with over 35 transformational coaching seminars and workshops, Richard possesses the uncanny ability to capture a room's attention while conveying impactful messages to any audience. He has an advanced certification as an Alcohol and Other Drug counselor (receiving a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his contributions to the recovery community) and was the only known incarcerated person to earn the status of associate trainer for John Maxwell’s EQUIP Leadership and its Million Leader Mandate.