Iowa Governor Encourages Hire of Formerly Incarcerated


Frank Kinyon, right, pushes a tiller at the Clarinda Correctional Facility on April 23, 2019. The prison launched a horticultural program several years ago that has blossomed into an apprenticeship with the support of Iowa Western Community College, which also supports other job training programs at the facility. (Courtesy Iowa Western Community College)
By 
Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds will hold a breakfast roundtable next month to stress the benefits to businesses of hiring formerly incarcerated employees.

The Employer and Reentry Breakfast Roundtable will be held Nov. 6 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville, Iowa. It will be co-hosted by Iowa Workforce Development and the Iowa Department of Corrections.

“In Iowa, there are jobs looking for people and it’s critical that we address the skills gap holistically,” Reynolds said in a news release. “By forging a partnership between the business community, the Department of Corrections, and Iowa Workforce Development, we can help formerly incarcerated individuals find a better path. Providing Iowa employers with a much-needed workforce while opening new doors for Iowans on the road to redemption is an obvious win-win.”

The event features presentations on recruiting and training practices, apprenticeship programs and incentives available to Iowa employers who hire people who were recently incarcerated. 

“With low unemployment, it is vital that employers open their recruitment strategy to include all Iowans. We continually hear from employers who have done so and it has operated to their benefit, both from a production/economic position, but also from improving the unity and morale within their workforce,” Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said in a release. “Employers can be a part of someone else’s success story and score a win for their company.”

Correctional facilities offer job training opportunities, helping inmates prepare for reentering the community and finding a job.

“We have thousands of returning citizens every year that are ready to get to work with employers that are willing to give them the opportunity,” Iowa Corrections Director Beth Skinner said in a release. “When given the chance, many of these people will make excellent additions to the workforce around our state.” 

To register for the roundtable, visit bit.ly/2M3dZ7v. For more, email elle.seitz@iwd.iowa.gov.

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