Today, 70 million people are living with a conviction history. By 2030, this population will climb to 100 million. Pre-Covid, the unemployment rate of
this population was 27%, as compared with less than 4% overall. During the last recession, the unemployment rate for the formerly incarcerated was
60%. And if history repeats itself, post-COVID, we will see a massive spike in that number.
Of the people with conviction histories, 63 million are no longer in jail, nor are they on probation or parole. They have completed the terms of their
sentences and yet they are forever saddled with a mark that makes them seen as less desirable to employers. This perpetuates massive rates of
unemployment and underemployment. Even though they may have the training, attitude, experience, and ambition that employers are looking for, they are denied employment based solely on a background check.
At the same time, according to Deloitte, the US will have 2.4 million unfilled manufacturing positions between 2018 and 2028. And, repeatedly, one of the biggest complaints from manufacturing companies is lack of a connection to a new community of workers who can fill positions.
But to bring these massive numbers to parity and make an impact on both manufacturers and communities with conviction histories, we need forward-thinking innovative programs.
There are already people leading the way to remove barriers and create programs to build a bridge to solve for this opportunity. To share more
about this, UMA & What's Next Washington are hosting a conversation with organizations on the frontlines.
Sue Mason, co-founder/executive director - What's Next Washington
Libby Mattern, Production Director - Malia Mills
Stephen Tucker, President & CEO - Northland Workforce Training Center
Christopher Poulos, Executive Director - Washington Statewide Reentry Council
Paul Tackes, Branding Specialist - Granville BID
Moderated by: Elmer Moore, Executive Director - Scale Up Milwaukee