Felons Wanted: Ex-Offender Helps Careers

Jeffrey T. McCormack
Posted by in Construction

A recent report on the site StateImpact, tells of an ex-convict, Lonnie Hunt, who is helping other former felons get back on their feet by hiring them to work for his construction company, Guaranteed Construction. While serving his time in prison he received training in construction, and is now using that training with his Construction Company and former felons, to help continue the rebuild of damage from last year’s hailstorms in Oklahoma City.

 

Hunt believes that ex-felons tend to be better workers than those who have never been behind bars. Plus, felons have a harder time finding employment once they get out, and the amount of unemployed felons makes up close to a full percentage point of the male unemployment rate in the country.

 

Reports show that when felons find a good steady job after release, their chances of returning to jail is greatly reduced. For every one felon who stays out of jail, it saves Oklahoma about $20,000 per year, which of course has an impact on businesses and unemployment in the state as a whole, so it works out for everyone.

 

Hunt and his current staff of over twelve employees report that business is good as they work to repair the many homes damaged in the storm. After Hunt was incarcerated for four years, he was given a job by a local plumbing company. After a while, he started his own business and wishes to continue to pass on the blessing he had to other felons who need a job.

 

“When they get out, they have a problem finding jobs because of them being ex-offenders. So, we’re just, you know, passing it on” Hunt says. As long as they are hard workers, he says, they are welcome. “They know that, for one, they have all of these strikes against them when they get out, so when they finally get a job, they certainly want to hold on to it. Because they know it’s so hard to get in the first place.”

 

Interestingly, even one of the commenters on the article had good things to say about companies like Hunt’s. She said “I hired a company like this for a home service when I was living in California. Of the seven or so companies I've tried, they did the best job.”

 

So while some companies may steer clear of ex-felons, there are many that jump at giving them the chance, and the outcome seems to be positive in most cases.

Comment

Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Register or sign in today!

  • Gabe Carmona
    Gabe Carmona
    Yes I believe felons make better workers because once a person experiences the consequences of the legal business one is apt to stay clean and do better than most who haven't . Felons appreciate a sense of forgiveness and opportunity to prove themselves .
  • Jeffrey McCormack
    Jeffrey McCormack
    Stories like this about Lonnie Hunt are great - if only more people would do the same as he is doing. Thanks for reading everyone.
  • Chris K
    Chris K
    I am also in that same position and it is hard to find a job. I currently have 3 daughters and it is really hard to take care of them and do everything with just my wifes income at this time. i just need some help and figure out what i can do and the best way to do it!!!!!!!
  • William M
    William M
    I think thats super! I myself am a felon and I'm having a major problem finding employment. It is very disappointing to me, because before my felonies, I was able to get "any" job i applied for due to my vast experience in the Production/Manufacturing Industry. Now, I can't find anyone who will hire me. I am going back to school to further my education and hopefully the school will be able to help me with finding a part-time job since i am going to be attending full-time. I might as well do it! I cant seem to do anything else with my life. It's very very depressing to me! To find employment again would definitely regain my manhood, because now I don't feel much like one.
  •  Bobbie D
    Bobbie D
    it,s a wonderful thing your doing.
  • Charles B
    Charles B
    What ever happened to "Paying your debt to society"? I am a highly skilled welder/fabricator with over 20 yrs experience and with products that I personally built doing their jobs all over the world. I have been laid off for a year now and can't find work anywhere despite having applied and being told that I was the ONLY one that passed all the tests and my work is perfect!! I am constantly denied work because of a 2001 felony DUI in the state of Florida. It is a witch-hunt AND it is DISCRIMINATION. I have 3 weeks left on my unemployment. I rent my home and am facing eviction. My wife and I have no where to go. And winter in northeast Ohio is upon us.
  • Jason H
    Jason H
    I am in the category of ex- offender. I got into the electrical business. My employer ran out of work and know nobody wants to hire an educated ex-con. With such high umemployment they can pick and choose. The sad part is that it is not my abilities that get my resume thrown away. It is my past. My former employer was like me with a record. So, i know and believe in what you are doing.
  • Gary Pullins
    Gary Pullins
    im a felon now and im having a hard time finding employment over a stupid charge ( illigally hauling tires ) and now ive got a felony 4 on my record
  • Jeanne Elledge
    Jeanne Elledge
    I think what you are doing is wonderful. Like you said steer clear of felons because of their history. My boyfriend is a convicted felon , will be looking for employment in the near future . I will definitely tell him about your company . There should be more employers like you . Thank you
  • Bryan K
    Bryan K
    I live in WI. I really wish this construction company was here! Although I haven't been in prison, I do have felony charges and have been seriously looking for work for about 4 years with no luck at all! I really do want to work, a lot! I always was and still am a hard worker, and although I don't have much experience in construction, I would really love to get a job in that field or even more so in the Interior Demolition field. I have felt incredibly discriminated because of my record, and really wish someone would give me the chance to work and show what an asset I would be to their company, like this man is doing. It would be a really great thing if there were more companies like his!
  • Mario l
    Mario l
    God bless u bro. give and it shall be given back to u ....i am a gulf war veteran ,but just paroled from a california stae prison...getting back to work is a big factor that determines our success or failor of parole...many good men\women have to settle for less because of employers not giving parolees an apportunity to use there field of work again...there are soo many experienced and educated parolees...the one thing we are is grateful for those jobs others look to as a burden...shame on them..thank u bro. for those u hire...mario l
  • John B
    John B
    I'm an exfelon and can't seem to get a job anywhere and I have 17 years in roofing.. Someone help please
  • kenneth e
    kenneth e
    ''Good person '' Keep up the good work we need more people like Mr. Hunt I'm an excon and could use a job.
  • Steve v
    Steve v
    Way to go Hunt!  If more people out here would give us a chance they would see that there is a untapped resource of hard worker with talents others do not possess!  We are just looking for a good paying stable job to take care of family and get back on our feet. Yes there are some will fail but Therese's even more who would work there fingers to the bone for a chance! Best wishes to Hunt and his crew! You guys are setting a example for society!
  • Joseph P
    Joseph P
    I am an ex-offender and I have been out of work for more than a year now. I have a family to support and my wife is on benefits due to a mental illness. I have resorted to seeking aid from my inlaws and on top of that in this state the unemployment is supposedly improved to the extent where Texas doesn't think we need the longer extension of emergency unemployment benefits and I am officially out of funds. Can you feel the "LOVE" for Gov. Perry right now? Anyway, I could sure use a chance to get back to work.
  • travis s
    travis s
    I am an exconvict and could use a job its nice to hear someone out how is not bias
  • Dennis E
    Dennis E
    been out for going on five months now, still looking. Been in construction trads for over 20+, not able to fine any at this time. Started school this week 09/10/2012 for bachelor's degree.
  • Kevin d
    Kevin d
    I have been out a year and a half i found work however i can barely support my needs. I went to trucking school ive got a class A CDL with a clean driving record yet no one will hire me the excuses are either i don't have enough experience or no work history, how can i get experience or work history if no one will hire me? my felony doesn't involve theft nor were there any victims in my offense.
  • joshua n
    joshua n
    at least somebody is giving us a chance
  • Randy J
    Randy J
    I totally agree I just got done doing two in fed prison I've been out for about a yr an haven't been able to find anything  and have 15yrs exp in drywall.
  • matthew m
    matthew m
    I think its good to give people such as myself another chance i have been out of prison for a lil over 2 years now and havent been able to find a job anywhere and im a hard worker and very dependable i wish someone would give me a second chance i mean i have a lil girl that sometimes i dont if i can put food in her stomach and i just want to have a good job
  • Samuel P
    Samuel P
    Admirable example, Mr. Hunt. There's no logical reason an ex-felon should not be considered for employment, considering both that the convict has paid debt to society, and if specific offense behavior behind conviction does not negatively impact requisite job duties and performance, the mere stigma of sustaining a conviction should not automatically disqualify convict candidate.
  • Keith E
    Keith E
    That is great we need more people like him willing to help because everybody deserves a second chance...  god bless u
  • ALONZO S
    ALONZO S
    i think thats good is willing to give individuals a second chance to resurrect their lives, and not allow the label to slow them down!!!!
  • Billy H
    Billy H
    you know people complain about how much it cost them in there state to send a person to prison, but they really must not care what they have to pay to send an ex-con back. It would save a whole lot of money to just help them get a job and stay out prison. I have three personal felony and I look for a job for two and Half years for a job. Keeping the job is one thing, but someone giving you a chance to prove yourself is another. Ex-cons has family and has to prove for them just like anyone else does. I read more and more about the right to work act. Than why doesn't the Ex-con have a right to work. They done there time and paid the price of there crime. I guess doing time means the rest of your life to most people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jobs to Watch

Search for Jobs Browse Jobs