|Edit: Thank you everyone for the incredible wealth of insightful suggestions. To anyone who wants to continue the conversation, I'd appreciate your pinging me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your continuing ideas, so we can stay in touch. Many challenges lie ahead for us, but your help will keep us on the right track.|
Again, on behalf of all the folks with records trying to get on with their lives, and myself personally, thanks again for your incredible support. Richard
My name is Richard Bronson and I'm the founder/CEO of 70MillionJobs (https://www.70millionjobs.com). Our website is the Internet's first job board for 70 million Americans—1 in 3 adults—with criminal records.
I'm something of a domain expert in this area because I myself have a criminal record. In the early 1990s, I worked on Wall Street and some of what I did was illegal. For a time I was a partner at the infamous Wolf of Wall Street firm, Stratton Oakmont (Scorcese film). I ended up with a 2 year Federal prison sentence. I was guilty.
I experienced first hand how difficult it was to get on with life after going through the "system." I served as Director at Defy Ventures, a great non-profit in the reentry space, but was interested in a scalable solution to ex-offender unemployment and resultant recidivism. I felt a new, for-profit, tech-based approach was necessary, so I launched 70MillionJobs. We're seeking "double bottom-line" returns: make money and do social good.
Like most job boards, our business model is based upon employers paying to advertise their jobs. We expect additional revenue to come from municipalities, who spend tens of billions of dollars annually, when someone is rearrested.
You might not be surprised to learn that most formerly incarcerated men and women are petrified to discuss their background with prospective employers. So we created a "safe haven" where all parties knew the score, and applicants could relax knowing that jobs being offered were with companies that accepted their pasts.
Since many of our applicants don't have a laptop or easy access to the Internet, we send out text alerts they can easily respond to. Because most of these folks have limited work experience and limited formal education, we plan on building a video resume platform to accompany their resumes. In person, many of these folks are respectful, bright and personable, so this will show them at their best.