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State Labor Department, Empire State Development announce state-wide 'Work For Success' tour

by jmaloni

Press release

Wed, Mar 13th 2013 08:10 am

Highlights incentives to businesses that hire formerly incarcerated men and women

Bold outreach initiative promotes the financial benefits of hiring the formerly incarcerated, the positive experiences of other employers, and trained readiness of these workers

State Labor Commissioner Peter M. Rivera and Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams have announced a new state-wide employer outreach tour called "Work For Success" that provides training and employment for the formerly incarcerated. The tour will begin with outreach events in New York City, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo.

Businesses that hire through the program are eligible for up to $2,400 in tax credits for each formerly incarcerated individual they hire. In addition, businesses are sent only trained, pre-qualified individuals to consider for hire.

"Every employed individual who stays out of jail saves taxpayers between $17,000 and $25,000 per person per year," said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. "Furthermore, businesses can benefit a great deal from hiring the formerly incarcerated. The tax credits help their bottom line and help boost competitiveness."

"This program will save businesses money and give individuals a chance to succeed in work and grow New York state's economy," Adams said. "We look forward to working with businesses across the state to let them know about the many benefits this program has to offer."

In addition to providing tax credits and any bonding an employer may require, "Work For Success" saves businesses the cost of human resources services and job skills training by referring only the most qualified and appropriately trained applicants for any open jobs at no cost to business owners.

In 2012, more than 25,000 employable men and women were released from prison in New York and almost 8,000 are already working and contributing to the economy.

"Our non-profit partners train men and women who have paid their debt to society. They are highly motivated to move on with their lives and become productive members of society," Rivera said. "We have thousands of individuals ready to roll up their sleeves who only ask for a second chance. I encourage all employers in New York to learn more about this program and the savings it has to offer."

Franklin Cruz of DEC Green Inc. in the Bronx said, "The formerly incarcerated individuals that we've hired over the years are greatly responsible for our success. I gave my employee Collin a chance and I am glad I did. He is the most dedicated employee I have. All they really want is an opportunity."

Lonnie Coplen, a project manager with the McKissack Construction Group, New York, said: "These men and women are very special, because they are willing to move heaven and earth to change their situations."

Anthony Fisher, who is formerly incarcerated, started his own business and is now president and CEO of Anthony's Janitorial in Queens. He is now hiring those who had also served time.

"A person who was incarcerated is extraordinarily committed," Fisher said. "If I'm running a program that can help someone else and it changes that person, I know I've done my job because that person is going to change another person's life and that person is going to change another person's life and my legacy will live on."

Ironworker Charles Dalton of Local 46, who is also formerly incarcerated, said, "It was more than someone saying you now have a second chance, it was someone saying, 'This is your chance; take it and make of it as you will.' This has meant the world to me. It's given me the chance to have a life after some terrible mistakes. It's given me a true second chance."

The "Work For Success" program is being promoted through public service announcements with Time Warner Cable and Cablevision and advertisements in the New York City Subway System.

For more information about "Work For Success," call 1-888-469-7365 or visit www.workforsuccess.ny.gov.

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