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Airport workers on the runway with a plane in the background.

Connecting Job Seekers with Opportunities

Last month, The Criminal Justice and Employment Initiative (CJEI) held the first two of four live online educational trainings for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s Office of Second Chance Employment. 

“We are so pleased that the Port Authority partnered with us to provide advice and training to employers and community-based organizations on best practices to improve employment opportunities for people with criminal records,” said Timothy McNutt, director of ILR’s employment initiative for people with criminal records.

“As each airport undergoes a major redevelopment, the Port Authority recognizes the value of developing a strong, locally based workforce. Together, we designed and delivered legal employment training to close information gaps, implement best practices and integrate job seekers with criminal records into the workforce.”

At the virtual trainings, the CJEI team met with over 30 senior HR professionals to discuss the nuances of criminal records and employment laws to help employers hire skilled workers with criminal records for “landside” employment opportunities at John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports. Landside jobs at airports are positions that do not require security badges. Two more Port Authority trainings will be held after the new year. 

The focus of the training is to implement best practices for hiring job seekers with past involvement in the criminal legal system, understanding the benefits of hiring justice-involved individuals and to address misconceptions about workers with criminal records, McNutt said. 

CJEI customized the curriculum for the Port Authority’s Office of Second Chance Employment at the Council for Airport Opportunity to support its commitment to integrating qualified candidates with a criminal record into the workforce.

“I think it's a great initiative to help acclimate incarcerated people back in the community,” an attendee wrote in a post-training survey. “The information shared was well balanced to keep the audience engaged with case study and discussions.” 

Another attendee said, “This will help me to view and interpret backgrounds with a different perspective.”

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