Second Chance Jobs For Felons

Second chance jobs are a vital opportunity for individuals who have a criminal record, particularly those with felony convictions.

These types of employment opportunities offer a fresh start and a chance to reintegrate into society, ultimately reducing recidivism rates and strengthening communities. Many companies recognize the importance of providing second chances and actively hire individuals who have a criminal past, understanding the value of offering a path to self-sufficiency and personal growth.

Finding stable employment can be one of the most significant challenges faced by felons after serving their sentences.

Access to resources like programs designed to assist justice-impacted individuals in securing employment and the support of businesses with felony-friendly policies can make a tremendous difference in their quality of life.

This article will explore why second chance job opportunities are crucial, as well as discuss potential paths for felons seeking gainful employment in a supportive environment.

Defining Second Chance Jobs

Second chance jobs are employment opportunities specifically designed to help formerly incarcerated individuals re-enter the workforce. These jobs aim to provide a supportive and inclusive environment for individuals with a criminal background, recognizing the importance of stable employment in reducing recidivism and promoting successful reintegration into society.

Employers offering second chance jobs often adopt a more open-minded approach when considering job applicants with a criminal history.

They may provide additional support, such as job training, mentorship, or flexible work arrangements, to help these individuals overcome the unique challenges they face in finding and maintaining employment.

In many cases, employers view this support as an investment that can result in loyal and productive employees, rather than merely an added cost[source].

Some of the key components of second chance jobs for felons include:

  • Skills development and training: Employers may offer job-specific training or general skill-building opportunities to help formerly incarcerated individuals acquire the necessary competencies to succeed in their roles.
  • Mentorship and guidance: Employers may assign mentors or provide career counselors to help guide and support individuals with criminal backgrounds through the challenges of re-entering the workforce.
  • Work flexibility: Employers might offer flexible schedules, remote work options, or other accommodations to help employees manage their work-life balance and overcome potential hurdles, such as transportation or childcare challenges.
  • Inclusive company culture: Employers that embrace second chance hiring often foster a work environment that values diversity and inclusion, recognizing the potential of all employees to contribute meaningfully to the company’s success.

There are also various incentives in place for employers who offer second chance jobs. For example, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) provides employers with a credit of up to $9,600 per year for every qualifying employee with a felony conviction hired within a year of their conviction or release from prison[source].

Why Employers Offer Second Chance Jobs

There are several reasons why employers choose to offer second chance jobs to individuals with criminal records.

First and foremost, offering these opportunities can help reduce recidivism rates, ultimately benefiting both the employees and the community. When ex-offenders are given a chance to reintegrate into society through employment, they are less likely to return to criminal activities. This results in safer communities and lower crime rates SHRM.

Employers also recognize the potential value that these individuals can bring to their organizations. In many cases, people with criminal records show strong work ethic, loyalty, and a desire to prove themselves. By providing a supportive work environment, employers can tap into this untapped potential and have access to a diverse pool of talent. Moreover, companies that demonstrate a commitment to second chance employment often report a positive return on investment, as the employees tend to be highly motivated and productive Harvard Business Review.

Second chance hiring initiatives can also improve a company’s image and public relations. Being socially responsible and contributing to the reintegration of ex-offenders into society is an excellent way for businesses to showcase their commitment to making a positive impact. Such actions can strengthen the brand reputation, attract new customers, and create a more inclusive workplace culture CNN.

In addition, employers may benefit from tax incentives associated with hiring individuals with criminal records. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), offered by the U.S. federal government, provides financial incentives to employers who hire individuals from specific target groups, including ex-felons Los Angeles Times. This can be an added financial motivator for businesses to offer second chance jobs.

Some Companies That Hire Felons

Several major companies offer second chance opportunities for felons. Here, we’ll highlight some of the employers that are known to hire individuals with criminal records.

1. Amazon

Amazon is known for their fair chance hiring policy. Their warehouse and fulfillment centers employ individuals with varying backgrounds, offering opportunities for those with criminal records.

2. CVS Health

CVS Health, a leading retail pharmacy chain, has been known to give opportunities to individuals with felony records. They offer various positions, from cashier to pharmacy technician.

3. Gap

The Gap, a popular clothing retailer, also provides jobs to those with criminal records. They hire for positions ranging from sales associates to warehouse workers and more.

4. Starbucks

Starbucks is another company that offers second chance employment. Barista and management positions are available for those with criminal backgrounds.

5. Ikea

Ikea, the well-known furniture store, hires felons for various positions, such as warehouse workers and customer service representatives.

6. General Mills

General Mills, a food manufacturing company, provides opportunities for individuals with criminal records. They offer positions in production, packaging, and warehousing.

7. Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut is known for hiring felons for various roles. Positions such as delivery drivers, cooks, and customer service representatives are available.

8. Google

Google, the tech giant, has been known to give opportunities to individuals with criminal records. They offer various positions, including software engineering and data analysis.

9. McDonalds

Fast-food giant McDonald’s offers employment opportunities to those with criminal backgrounds. Positions range from front-counter staff to management roles.

10. Panera Bread

Panera Bread, a popular bakery-cafe chain, offers opportunities to individuals with criminal records for positions such as bakers, cashiers, and cafe associates.

11. Uber

Rideshare company Uber provides job opportunities for those with criminal records. Drivers with non-violent felony convictions may be eligible for employment after a certain period of time has passed.

12. Comcast

Comcast, a major telecommunications provider, offers several opportunities to individuals with criminal records. Positions include customer service, sales, and installation technicians.

13. Coca Cola

Coca Cola, the iconic soft drink manufacturer, offers a variety of jobs for individuals with criminal records. Opportunities range from warehouse workers to sales representatives.

14. Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen, a popular fast-food chain, hires felons for various roles. Positions such as cooks, cashiers, and store managers are available for those with criminal backgrounds.

Finding Second Chance Job Opportunities

Finding second chance job opportunities for individuals with a criminal record can be challenging, but there are resources and strategies available to help you in your job search.

In this section, we will explore two main avenues for finding second chance job opportunities: Online Job Portals and Local Community Programs.

Online Job Portals

Several online job portals specialize in connecting justice-impacted individuals with employers willing to offer a second chance at employment. These platforms often provide access to job listings, tips for navigating the job search process, and resources for enhancing your employability. Some popular online job portals that cater to individuals with a criminal background include Indeed and Jails to Jobs. Explore these websites to find updated job listings, create a profile, and connect with employers open to hiring individuals with a criminal record.

Additionally, some general job search websites like Indeed also maintain a dedicated section for second chance jobs or employers known to follow fair chance hiring policies, making them more likely to hire individuals with a felony record. Browsing through these listings is another helpful avenue for finding suitable job opportunities.

Local Community Programs

Local community programs and initiatives are another valuable resource to tap into when searching for second chance employment opportunities. Many cities or communities have programs in place to assist justice-impacted individuals with job training, employment search assistance, and other essential support services. To identify relevant programs in your area, you can get in touch with your local government, probation or parole offices, or community service organizations. They should be able to provide you with relevant information on programs or resources available in your region.

In summary, finding second chance job opportunities can be accomplished through a combination of online job portals that cater to individuals with a criminal record and engaging with local community support programs. By utilizing these resources in your job search, you will increase your chances of finding employment and successfully reintegrating into your community.

Preparation for Success

Skills Development

One of the critical factors for successfully integrating formerly incarcerated individuals into the workforce is developing their skills. Programs that focus on education and vocational training during incarceration can provide a solid foundation for these individuals as they re-enter society.

Employers can partner with in-prison training programs and second-chance staffing agencies to identify candidates who possess relevant skills and are eager to work. This approach not only helps these individuals secure stable employment but also increases the likelihood of their continued success in the workplace.

On-the-Job Training

Once an individual with a criminal record has been hired, it is crucial to provide them with proper on-the-job training. This ensures that they are prepared for the tasks and responsibilities they will face in their new roles, and it can also help them build additional skills relevant to their jobs.

Employers who are willing to invest in their employees’ professional development will likely see increased retention, improved morale, and more productive teams.

Support and Resources

Formerly incarcerated individuals often require resources and support to facilitate their transition back into society. Employers can play a significant role in providing these resources by connecting employees with relevant assistance programs and organizations.

Companies like Goodwill have demonstrated success through second-chance hiring and providing support for their employees with criminal records.

By offering resources such as mentoring programs, mental health services, or connections to community agencies, employers can effectively help their employees navigate the complexities of reintegration, leading to more successful outcomes.

Section 7: Industries and Roles to Consider

Building a Strong Resume

For felons seeking a second chance, focusing on building a strong resume is crucial. This involves acquiring relevant skills and experiences that showcase your abilities and increase your chances of getting employed. Consider participating in vocational training, apprenticeships, or volunteering in your targeted industry. Always remember to highlight your achievements and any certifications you have earned along the way.


Manufacturing can be a viable option for ex-offenders who have the necessary technical skills, as well as those ready to learn new trades. Within this industry, job opportunities can be found in assembly, production, and quality control. Some companies such as Jails to Jobs actively work to help felons find employment in the manufacturing sector, providing them with a chance to re-integrate into society.

Technology and IT

Another promising field for felons with a knack for computers and digital systems is technology and IT. Here, they can explore career opportunities such as software development, web design, and IT support. As the demand for skilled professionals in these areas continues to grow, there are more chances for felons to secure stable employment and rebuild their lives.

Transportation and Logistics

For those with a background in transportation or a keen interest in logistics, this industry offers various roles ranging from truck driving to warehouse management. Areas like delivery or shipping services can be especially suitable for ex-offenders as they often require a strong work ethic and interpersonal skills rather than an unblemished record. Additionally, the website provides resources to help felons find suitable career paths in this sector.

Section 8: Benefits and Challenges

When it comes to second chance jobs for felons, there are several benefits and challenges involved. In this section, we will discuss the improvement of self-worth, as well as the obstacles of overcoming stereotypes and stigma.

Improved Self-worth

One of the major benefits of second chance jobs for people with criminal records is the potential to improve their self-worth. Employment plays a vital role in helping individuals build confidence and self-esteem. By giving felons the opportunity to work, employers not only provide financial stability but also contribute to their emotional well-being and social integration (Indeed).

Overcoming Stereotypes and Stigma

Felons often face significant challenges related to stereotypes and stigma. This can create barriers to securing employment, as well as establishing positive relationships with coworkers and supervisors. Companies that actively participate in second chance hiring make a point to encourage an inclusive and open working environment (CNN).

However, overcoming these obstacles is not always easy. Employers must be willing to invest in training and support resources to help their new employees effectively integrate into the workplace. In some cases, this may involve addressing negative attitudes or biases held by existing staff members.

Despite these challenges, there are numerous benefits associated with second chance hiring. For example, companies that hire individuals with criminal records often experience increased levels of employee loyalty (Ongig Blog), and may even qualify for tax breaks specifically designed to support the employment of former felons (Ongig Blog).


Second chance jobs for felons provide opportunities for those who have paid their debt to society and are seeking to rebuild their lives. These employment opportunities not only benefit the individuals but also serve as a crucial step in reducing recidivism and strengthening communities as a whole.

Several industries offer jobs that can pave the way for a successful reintegration into society. These include but are not limited to trade skills, construction, transportation, and hospitality. Support from employers, job training programs, and initiatives like the Second Chance Business Coalition can help make this transition smoother for individuals with criminal backgrounds.

Ultimately, it is the collective responsibility of employers, policymakers, and society as a whole to ensure a path to redemption is available for those who genuinely desire to change their lives. By fostering an environment that supports second chance employment, we can help create a more inclusive and resilient workforce.