California’s Fair Chance Act (also called ‘Ban the Box’) became effective in January of 2018. The “Box” refers to a checkmark on employment applications asking applicants if they have a criminal record. In response to this law, LA County Launched a Fair Chance Hiring Campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of hiring justice-involved workers.
AMS’ Chief Workforce Development Officer, Ken Wiseman, has been involved in assisting this campaign from the beginning, as one of several business leaders making up the Employer Engagement Workgroup. This workgroup was created to advise and help develop the campaign. After the Workgroup had finished its advisory task, the awareness campaign began.
For several years AMS has been hiring individuals looking for a second chance after incarceration. Ken has been the driving force behind these efforts and a strong advocate for the men and women who previously faced obstacles to employment. “We have been hiring reentry individuals for several years and can attest to the dedication, reliability and incredible work ethic of our justice-involved employees.”
Ken participated in a panel discussion hosted by the Los Angeles County Fair Chance Hiring campaign on February 27th at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) in Downtown Los Angeles. The event featured a two-panel conversation on how fair chance hiring can help build an inclusive green economy. This initiative, which is a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership, aims to educate businesses about the benefits of employing justice-involved individuals.
The Fair Chance Hiring campaign asks business owners to sign the Fair Chance Hiring pledge, which is a commitment to provide justice-involved individuals a fair chance to participate and thrive in the economy. Since the launch of the campaign, more 180 businesses have signed the Fair Chance Hiring Pledge.
Ken spoke about the event as follows: “I enjoyed being a part of the event. Clearly the attendees were passionate about their commitment to support reentry individuals. While it’s the right thing to do for our community, it also positively impacts overall employee engagement, and ultimately the companies bottom line.”
As a B Corporation, AMS Fulfillment has a longstanding commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, both of which are essential in building an inclusive green economy. AMS’ Valencia CA facilities provide jobs for more than 350 individuals. The AMS workforce is highly valued, carefully trained, offered higher education, and considered vital to the success of AMS and its clients.
Director of Human Resources at AMS, Carmen Kernek, offered the following about how AMS views recruitment:
In today’s competitive labor environment, the ability to attract and retain the best talent sets a business apart. If your recruitment model doesn’t include diversity and inclusion as a key piece of the talent acquisition puzzle, it should. Implementing diversity recruitment best practices can make a huge difference in attracting the resources, insights and perspectives you need to drive your business forward.
Traditional recruiting practices can prove challenging as a method for identifying and bringing diverse candidates through the door. Instead, cast your talent acquisition net in places where diverse candidates are. Target the right candidates and subsequently establish the appropriate policies and values that support an inclusive workplace that engages all employees.
To learn more about the Fair Chance Initiative and the benefits of hiring justice-involved individuals, please visit their informative website. https://fairchance.lacounty.gov/