Each year, 13,000 people are released from Missouri’s prison system.
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s statewide public safety report, Safer Missouri, Stronger Missouri, calls for improving training and employment opportunities for incarcerated individuals.
With April being Second Chance Hiring Month, the Missouri Chamber teamed up with St. Louis-based Concordance to feature businesses that have given individuals who were recently incarcerated the opportunity to successfully re-enter their communities.
Concordance provides services to those returning to society from prison so they can be productive citizens.
“It’s an 18-month program providing mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, education and job readiness training,” said Concordance Chairman and CEO Danny Ludeman. “We help them find housing, as well.”
One of Concordance’s partners is Triad Manufacturing in St. Louis. The company manufactures store fixtures for customers all over the world.
Jeff Frick is the supervisor for metal assembly at Triad. He said he’s worked with four individuals who have gone through the Concordance program, and all have been great to work with.
“They’re hard workers, they show up on time and anything I ask them to do, they do it well,” Frick said. “They adapt well to anything I give them.”
“What gives our employment partners confidence in using Concordance as a major source of talent is that they see we are healing them, as well as teaching them certain things that will make them extremely successful when they go to work at our employment partners,” Ludeman said.
Demetrius, a recent Concordance graduate, works in the assembly area of Triad putting together boxes, pallets and glass doors.
“Since working full-time at Triad, I’ve been able to get my own apartment and get my own car, so now I have my own responsibilities,” Demetrius said. “That motivates me to get up and go to work every day and do the right thing.”
To learn more about the Concordance program, go to concordance.org.