The Uphill Slide

There is always something.

Jobs for Felons


Jacob has been on parole for over a month now and has not found a job yet. One of my favorite stores, Target, offered him a job pending the background check. He told him when he was interviewed of the convictions he had and was told by the interviewer that should not be a problem. This woman was not the Human Resources Manager. The interviewer gave him a start date. When he reported on that date, he sat at the Starbucks inside the store while they called names. When they did not call his name he followed the group to ask the Human Resource Manager why they had not called his name. She told him he had not passed the background check in front of these other people. Was this deceptive to tell him that the convictions should not be a problem? There was of course no promise of employment. It was an offer pending…Were they just giving lip service to a claim or is just that they omit the small print on that claim?

But the most important question for me as a former Human Resources Manager is why did no one call him to tell him not to report? The Human Resources Manager muttered some excuse about thinking the other person had called. That’s called passing the buck if you are in charge. Did they want to embarrass him? Is this the way they treat people? I can also tell you from experience with applicants to entry-level jobs that they often do not have the money to waste on a trip to a job that is not going to materialize.

So Jacob continues to apply for jobs and is turned down for jobs for which he is overqualified. Someone gave him a couple of ideas for jobs that might allow him to use his skills, but we will see if that is something that can happen. Jacob was a LPN enrolled in classes to work towards an RN when these accusations were made. He has worked on the Geek Squad. His friends still call him for computer advice. He had ideas for a YouTube channel. Now he is not permitted to work on any computers or equipment. He will never be a nurse again unless he succeeds in an appeal or this accuser tells the truth someday. Is it just Jacob who lost his future or did others lose something too?

Before Jacob was released from jail, inmates told him about jobs on the barges. They said you can go to work the next day. All you have to know is how to swim. Jacob is a great swimmer breezing through the YMCA classes when he was young. He was even on the dive team until the Kittanning YMCA removed the diving boards. Unfortunately, no one knew the name of this barge company, only that it was in Bethel Park. Do you know how many companies are locatedĀ in Bethel Park? He stopped at the Police Station there (a place that makes me always feel uneasy now) to ask if they knew. No luck.

He asked his Parole Officer to set up an appointment to complete online applications. That took over a month. The first visit was an intake session with a man who said he worked for Goodwill and not the Parole Office. He admitted he did not know anything or have training. His job is to watch Jacob complete applications. He mentioned a place Jacob might be able to get a job. He said there are lots of places that may hire felons but not those on Megan’s Law. The appointment to actually complete applications was set for a week and half later. The processes of the criminal justice system are slow and often painful for the parolee and the family.

Jacob has a positive attitude while I feel anger at the injustice perpetrated upon him.














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