‘You just want to … have a chance.’ Ex-offenders struggle to find jobs amid pandemic

February 3, 2021

“The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), which provides transitional employment, coaching and job placement for those released from prison, made 368 placements in April 2019. But in April 2020, near the start of the COVID-19 health crisis, only 140 of its applicants were able to find work.

Similarly, for the period between July 1 and December 31, 2019, CEO found jobs for 1,793 of its applicants, but placements dropped by half, to 900, during that same period last year.

‘We already know that in hiring, people with convictions face tremendous hurdles and I think COVID has just exacerbated those situations,’ says Chris Watler, CEO’s chief external affairs officer.”

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