Each year there are approximately 2.5 million people who enter parole or probation. From that, one of the most critical issues in the United States is how to successfully transition these individuals into gainful employment. Unfortunately, the stigma of a criminal record is often a barrier that keeps justice-involved candidates trapped in low-paying jobs.
Scott Whiting with IWLA Partner Member Allegiance Staffing recognizes the need for a different approach. In fact, he says, it’s as easy as A, B, C. He cites the ABC Pathway: A is for Any job; B is for a Better job; C for Career and advancement. Whiting says keeping this trajectory in mind for nontraditional candidates proves to be a successful model, especially in the supply chain industry.
Employee retention is an issue for the warehouse industry. In fact, DC Velocity reported that 21 percent of companies reported a turnover rate of 25-50 percent. High turnover is costly and can lower employee morale. It can lead to reduced productivity or poor service quality and more.
However, through partnerships with companies like Allegiance Staffing using the ABC Pathway, supply chain organizations have a unique opportunity to not only reduce turnover but also to aid the reintegration of justice-involved individuals into the workforce.
Shawna Allen and Jesus Villipiano are two success stories worth noting.
Shawna Allen fell in with the wrong crowd at an early age. Eventually, she found herself addicted to drugs. This led to dealing drugs to maintain her own habit. Despite having two small children, she continued to live on the edge and ultimately got caught. She was sentenced to four years in prison in 2003.
In jail, Allen got clean, started a ministry, and found a real passion for helping others. While still in prison, she participated in a work-release program where she excelled and was promoted to a salaried position after her release. From there, she found a job where she worked up to a position overseeing training and compliance for more than 30 locations. Unfortunately, the owner had to shut down abruptly and Allen found herself without work.
With a criminal record, jobs were hard to come by, but she was able to obtain a job in warehousing, working at Coregistics, an IWLA-member warehouse logistics company. At first, she was disappointed because with her experience, she was overqualified, and felt like she had more to give. However, because the culture at Coregistics was built on growing those that are “different from the pack,” Allen’s skills were soon recognized and she was mentored directly by the Coregistics CEO Eric Wilhelm.
Through hard work, stretching outside of her comfort zone and living by the mission of the company, Allen has made a home there. She’s also paying it forward to help others who are “different from the pack,” like Jesus Villipiano.
Because Allen is a living example of the culture at Coregistics, she was able to identify key skills in Villipiano and help develop them in a variety of areas. After a hopeful start in an entry-level temp position, placed by Allegiance Staffing, Villipiano has been cross trained in several positions and is thriving in his new position with the responsibilities he has been given – and he is firmly established on the ABC Pathway.
Mentoring, coaching, and training are key components of the Coregistics culture. Through the leadership of the company’s CEO, Coregistics taps into potential of even unlikely candidates such as those who have been justice-involved. Allen and Villipiano are just two examples of the real-life benefits that considering an alternative talent pool can bring to an organization’s culture, growth, and bottom line.
Allegiance Staffing and the International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA) are underwriters of a formal, objective research study, conducted in association with Butler University. The aim is for the study to empirically validate the business benefit of recruiting and hiring this overlooked population and lay out a roadmap for corporations seeking to improve the labor component of their businesses. Note: Allegiance Staffing President Tom Landry is the cochairman of the IWLA Inclusion & Diversity Council. If you would like to be involved in this group, email mail@IWLA.com.