Website Encourages Hiring of Recovering Addicts and Ex-offenders
Larry Keast, founder and CEO of Houston manufacturing company Venturetech, is using the Internet to advocate for the hiring of those jobseekers typically avoided by employers, ex-offenders and those in recovery from substance abuse, the Chicago Tribune reported on April 7.
The web project, named America in Recovery, matches applicants' resumes with the small business owners looking to hire those Keast calls “America's unemployables.”
Five years ago, Keast's company began hiring recovering substance users and ex-offenders, and as a result saw an improvement in their business. Employee morale and productivity increased, and employee turnover and training costs decreased.
Keast decided to spread his message so that other business owners could be aware of the mutual benefits of hiring those typically neglected by the job market. He invested $30,000 to $40,000 in starting up the America in Recovery website, which operates tax-free as a non-profit organization. The website is self-running, self-funded and easy to use, he said.
“People who need a job just enter their resume information directly into the Web site. Employers may enter their information or not,” he said. “Then, each side communicates with the other directly and we have no need for a costly staff or time-consuming processing.”
“These guys are teaching me to do something I never thought I could accomplish,” said one Venturetech employee, who had served over 18 years in prison on drug charges before he was hired as a shop hand and began learning how the company makes its equipment.
To learn more, visit www.americainrecovery.org.