SF holds 1st-of its kind business summit on hiring former prisoners

Van Jones (Photo: DKB Foundation)  
Van Jones (Photo: DKB Foundation)  

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN)— A first-of-its-kind summit in California is being held in San Francisco today to help businesses give convicts a chance at employment after they are released from prison or jail, organizers said.
   
The Second Chance Summit started at 9 a.m. and went until 4 p.m. at 1446 Market St.
   
The event features testimonials by formerly incarcerated individuals and workshops that provide best practices for recruiting, hiring, training and retaining employees, including ex-convicts.
   
Event organizers, including Dave's Killer Bread Foundation, social enterprise investor REDF and criminal justice reform initiative #cut50, said they believe employment is a way to keep ex-convicts from committing another crime.
   
Co-founder and national director of #cut50 Jessica Jackson Sloan said the summit is really focused on why employers should hire formerly incarcerated individuals.
   
About 110 companies are participating. Some of those already hire the formerly incarcerated and others are interested in doing so. CNN’s Van Jones and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon spoke this morning at the summit, according to his office.
   
Businesses can learn things at the summit such as the insurance required to hire the formerly incarcerated and best human resource practices, Sloan said.
   
"Employers in the Bay Area have an ethical obligation to step up," she said.
   
Sloan said Bay Area business owners can stop by today and she would be happy to talk to them.
   


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