Criminal history has often disqualified reformed felons from large swaths of the job market. However, Jacksonville business leaders are looking to rectify that injustice.
“Project Open Door,” announced Tuesday at the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, asserts companies will not ask about a job applicant’s arrest record until the interview process.
This, akin to the “Ban the Box” movement, helps people who have reformed to re-enter the legitimate job market, avoiding temptations toward recidivism.
“This is such an important step for our community and I’m proud to say this isn’t something we need a new law or regulation to accomplish,” JAX Chamber Chair Audrey Moran said. “This is the business leaders in our community getting together, recognizing the difference-maker this can be in our community and saying ‘We’ve got this.’”
“This simply levels the playing field and gives a person the opportunity to explain something that might have happened years ago,” JAX Chamber President and CEO Daniel Davis added. “Employees who know their boss or company believes in them and maybe took a bit of a chance on them can be the most dedicated, valuable employees on staff.”
There are 50 companies on board now and the Chamber is looking for more. To sign up, visit opendoorjax.com.