In Search of the Felon-Friendly Workplace

The New York Times

By Mark Obbie

Rick Plowman’s business, installing suspended ceilings in offices, schools and hotels, could use new blood. But hiring is tough, he tells the man sitting in his office. The 20-somethings he sees haven’t had the work ethic, haven’t had the hustle.

“I have a hard time hiring people with that drive,” he says. “I go through a lot of employees that don’t have that drive.”

The man listening, Scott Anders, is a federal probation officer — and he spots the opening he came for: He pitches Mr. Plowman on the notion of hiring more ex-cons.

“What we really want is just for them to have an opportunity to interview with you,” Mr. Anders says.

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