Series: What B Corporations do for the world #22

July 13, 2021

In this blog series we talk about the purpose of a B Corporation to do good for the world, and we put forward examples of businesses doing just that. This week we will look into what is being done to employ men and women who have been involved in the justice system.

A quick Wikipedia search tells us that the United States has the highest prison and jail population and the highest incarceration rate in the world. “According to the World Prison Population List the US held 21.0% of the world’s prisoners in 2015, even though the US represented only around 4.4 percent of the world’s population in 2015.”

We know that racism has played a role in this incredible imbalance and as a B Corporation and a company that hires a large number of workers, AMS Fulfillment is committed to make a difference in the arena of diversity, equity and inclusion.

AMS’ Chief Workforce Development Officer, Ken Wiseman, and other business leaders have been involved in the Los Angeles County Fair Chance Hiring Initiative which encourages businesses to actively hire members of the justice-involved community. This effort is needed in order to bring equity and repair past wrongs, as for many years individuals who had been incarcerated faced discrimination in hiring.

From a past blog on the subject we quote Ken as follows: “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.”

This week’s featured B Corporation is a staffing company that links people in recovery from substance abuse and reentry from jail or prison with construction companies that need workers – it’s a staffing company called Maine Works.

At Bcorporation.net we find a weekly list of B Corporations doing impressive work with the following introduction:

“The reckoning is where the real work begins: to rework a policy, redesign a process, or refine a product to avoid harm. Business leaders in the Certified B Corporation community are collaborating and innovating to amplify the positive impact of their work while learning from their successes and mistakes.

“From the pursuit of net zero emissions to the adoption of policies that remove systemic barriers, B Corps and their partners aim to change systems for good. This week’s articles include specific calls to action to help you be a part of the change.”

An Innovative Staffing Company Helps an Overlooked Labor Pool Fill Construction Needs
B Corp MaineWorks Connects People in Transition with Jobs and Supportive Services

Margo Walsh knows the power of connections. She saw it for years in her work as a recruiter for a New York investment firm, a competitive field that had her visiting Ivy League schools and helping students envision their professional success. Now, she sees it as the leader of MaineWorks, an innovative staffing agency in Portland, Maine. MaineWorks links people in recovery from substance abuse and reentry from jail or prison with construction companies that need workers — an even more important pairing now amid growing labor shortages.

“That’s my superpower — to be able to hustle and meet everybody and put it together in this web,” Walsh says. “I always just relied on my capability of connecting. It’s a lot of work, and it’s a lot of connections, and I happen to really thrive in that.”

MaineWorks was born when Walsh decided to merge her professional experience as a recruiter with her volunteer experiences at a substance abuse clinic and the local county jail. In recovery herself, Walsh knows the importance of integrative recovery programs that support people as they make a fresh start. MaineWorks also is a business founded with a focus beyond profit, operating since 2013 as a Certified B Corporation that measures and values its social and environmental impact.

Please click HERE to read the full article.