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How ‘second chance’ hires can boost the labor force, keep youth on track
January 23, 2020
America’s businesses are facing an unprecedented labor shortage, a drag on economic growth that risks derailing the expansion. Yet we also have a pool of millions of willing workers who are unemployed or substantially underemployed — those with a criminal record. Bringing these prospective employers and employees together in a profitable and sustainable way is an economic imperative.
Our work focuses on the models developed by pioneering business owners who opened their doors to workers in need of a second chance: those with a history of incarceration, addiction or other mistakes of the past. The most effective models incorporate processes for determining which candidates are truly ready for employment and then providing accommodations to help maintain employment. Their experience, and the handful of formal studies, all point in the same direction; “second-chance” hires are highly dedicated workers who appreciate the opportunity they’ve been given and are extraordinarily loyal to their employer. The resulting combination of low turnover and high engagement delivers cost savings and productivity improvements.
For more than 30 years, Jeff has been a thought leader in the investment industry. A regular guest on CNBC and Bloomberg, Jeff’s writings on economics and public policy have been published in Barron’s, Forbes, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe and other periodicals. His worked has been cited by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Jeff is a nationally recognized expert on “second chance” employment, private sector models of hiring workers marginalized by criminal records. In addition to regular speaking appearances at conferences and public events, Jeff was invited to testify on Capitol Hill as an expert witness on the use of commodity indexes by pensions and other institutional investors.
Jeff earned both a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and a Certificate of Proficiency in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University in Princeton, N.J.
A passionate supporter of cultural organizations, Jeff serves as a Trustee of the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, and as an Overseer of the Peabody Essex Museum.