10K tax credit for hiring ex-cons

Posted: May 29, 2008 in Economy

Hire ex-con in Philly, get $10K annual tax credit

By KATHY MATHESON

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — One-time thief Heber Nixon Jr. has filled out his share of futile job applications. All said being a felon wouldn’t stand in his way — but the promised calls from managers never came.

He finally got a second chance when he showed up at a construction site looking for work and found a sympathetic builder.

Now, the city of Philadelphia is making a concerted effort to encourage the hiring of ex-convicts amid a renewed interest nationwide in dealing with high recidivism, growing crime rates and exploding prison populations.

Philadelphia averaged a murder a day the past two years and has been sued to reduce its overcrowded, record-high jail population.

So on his 100th day in office last month, Mayor Michael Nutter announced a program, being headed by an ex-offender, that gives $10,000 a year in municipal tax credits to companies that hire former prisoners and provide them tuition support or vocational training.

“This is one of the best crime-prevention programs we’ll ever have,” he said.

Initiatives to help former prisoners re-enter society have become a renewed priority across the country as new data shine a spotlight on staggering rates of incarceration and recidivism. (more…)

Going back to 2005

====

African-American Chamber Survey: 40 Percent of Black Businesses Have Difficulty Finding Trained Staff; 81.8 Percent of Black Firm Employees are African-American

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ — In a recent survey of its member-businesses, the Philadelphia-area African-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) found that 40 percent are experiencing difficulty in finding appropriately trained employees to work in their companies and that targeted training programs would allow them to hire more people, with greater confidence.

Among the impediments to finding suitable employees, the businesses said,

was “technical skills deficiency,” “insufficient training,” “lack of expertise in the business’s specialty,” “lack of education,” a “lack of a clean background” and a “lack of work ethic, professionalism and punctuality.

[…]

It appears that workforce development efforts would also increase hiring by black firms from among ex-offenders. Given the City’s challenges in trying to implement effective re-entry programs for ex-offenders, 35 percent of the responding black business owners said they currently make a practice of hiring those who have been incarcerated. When the business owners were asked if they

would be willing to hire ex-offenders “who have been screened and received training,” those interested in hiring from that population jumped to 70 percent. (more…)

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