Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment

2016 Report: Closing the Skills Gap & Opening More Doors

The National H.I.R.E. Network is thrilled to share Closing the Skills Gap and Opening More Doors, a new report that breaks new ground by combining labor market forecasts for New York City and New York State with information about barriers to employment for individuals with criminal records.  It summarizes the challenges faced by workers with prior justice involvement. It provides detailed explanations of New York City and State protections for workers with criminal records.  It offers practical guidance regarding how workforce developers and other stakeholder can remove employment barriers.  Finally, it sets forth recommendations on how to address the substantial barriers that keep this population un- and underemployed.

The analysis in this report ideally should be done in every jurisdiction across the country to assist policymakers, investors, workforce practitioners, and jobseekers with identifying the best industries to invest time, money, and effort toward building a workforce that is capable of filling the job gaps that exist in the labor market.  More jurisdictions should identify and remove barriers to employment that undermine the goals of employers and workers alike.  By studying economic and labor data from one’s region and locality, one can learn which jobs are – and will be – in demand for years to come.  However, given the myriad of legal restrictions tied to employment and occupational licensing for individuals with criminal records, it is imperative that job market analysis also include explanation of the impact a criminal record may have on job opportunities.

Read the full report here.