Target Company is an Australian department store chain owned by Westfarmers, many people are familiar with it. But do you know what Target is doing for ex-offenders?
In 2013, Minnesota became the third state in America to pass a law that requires private employers interview applicants without checking of criminal history. Later, Target Company followed the law and involved in “ban the box”. “We were fortunate to have some involvement and input.” the company’s Vice President Jim Rowader said, “We’re interested in a safe workplace and shopping environment, and we do want to take the appropriate steps to do that.” It’s a huge step that means a big number of ex-offenders are given a chance to apply for Target’s position.
Minneapolis-based Target is American third largest employer, and it has 1800 stores and 362000 employees in America. As a social enterprise, Target has a big influence to encourage private businesses give ex-offender a second chance. “At this point employers are forced to look at the merit and experience of a person and what an applicant can bring to a company instead of seeing whether they an ex-offender or not,” John Maloney, a director at TurnAround program said.
On the other side, it makes ex-offenders that feel supported and have a positive attitude in finding a job. Secundo Williams, one of TurnAround program’s successful story. “It’s a very positive thing. It allows us a chance to be productive in society and not go back to the things we used to do and not make the same mistakes we made in the past,” he said.
Additionally, Target gave $100000 to the council on Crime and Justice, a Minneapolis social justice organization in order to support ex-prisoners programs and encourage private employers on issue of ex-offender unemployment.
I believe more and more ex-offenders and their families will be saved by Target and other social enterprises.