Here's a good example of the power of business to transform lives – organizations offering opportunities for employment to people who have served time in prison:
"Bonnie Rice was released from prison last year. After a five-year, drug-related prison sentence, she knew she couldn't go back to any of the people who led her into trouble. … She managed to find a place to live in a halfway house. But even though she filled out lots and lots of job applications in the first few months out of prison, she didn't get many calls back. … Then she found Together We Bake. It's a bakery … that makes granola, cookies and kale chips for local eateries and a local Whole Foods store. It's also a job-training and coaching program for women who need a second chance — many of whom have served time in prison, or are on probation following criminal charges."
Together We Bake (http://www.togetherwebake.org/) operates in the Washington DC area and, as its website states, is set-up to provide opportunities to women who otherwise face limited employment options:
"Together We Bake's mission is to provide a comprehensive workforce training and personal development program to help women gain self-confidence, transferable workforce skills, and invaluable hands-on experience which will allow them to find sustainable employment and move toward self-sufficiency."
The radio story in the url below explores this issue in depth, profiling Together We Bake as well as other companies that see their role as employer as an opportunity to help a segment of the population that is ignored or excluded by most firms. In particular, it highlights a company and product that I have loved for some time now: Dave's Killer Bread (http://www.daveskillerbread.com/). As Dave's Killer Bread (DKB) announces proudly on its website:
"DKB is powerfully different. Packed with protein, fiber, and whole grains with no artificial anything. It will rock your world."
Dave's Killer Bread will rock your world, but it will also make you feel good about capitalism. It is a company whose values are founded around the concept of a second chance and, in particular, what it terms "second chance employment":
"One in three of our employee partners has a criminal background. At Dave's Killer Bread, we believe everyone is capable of greatness and that a second chance can lead to positive lasting change. In 2015 we introduced our non-profit, the Dave's Killer Bread Foundation, with the mission to inspire other businesses to become Second Chance Employers and affect positive societal change."
Dave's Killer Bread is both healthy and tasty and, believe me, your doctor recommends it!
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This Bakery Offers A Second Chance For Women After Prison
By Allison Aubrey
April 15, 2016
National Public Radio