At the re-launch event of LA County’s Fair Chance Hiring Initiative, we unveiled an art installation by photographer Brandon Tauszik with portraits of several Los Angeles system-impacted individuals.
“Don't let that criminal record be the reason you deny someone an opportunity. Because you're missing out on very, very hard workers. People who are very loyal to the mission, the work, to their colleagues.”
- Carmen Garcia
Every year, more than 60,000 individuals return from incarceration in LA County, looking to start anew. This is the story of Carmen Garcia, Executive Director, Root and Rebound who’s been home for 10 years.
Carmen Garcia leads with her heart, pouring her energy and experience into helping others. As the daughter of immigrants with her own history of incarceration, Carmen has a deep understanding of the challenges that face the system-impacted communities she serves. “A lot of us come out just ready and hungry for opportunities because we truly want something different,” she says.
As the Executive Director of Root and Rebound, Carmen works to make sure the staff feels cared for, uplifted and supported. She has created more opportunities for formerly incarcerated job seekers, creating fellowship positions that teach skills from the ground up. She fights for policy change, and not just long-term change that will take effect years from now, but change that can happen now, and change at the highest levels that can impact the largest number of people. “We need to stop labeling people,” says Carmen, encouraging other employers to hire system-impacted individuals. “Don't let that criminal record be the reason you deny someone an opportunity. Because you're missing out on very, very hard workers, but also people who are very loyal… Give people a fair chance.”
Don't miss out on hiring incredible “ready to work” fair-chance employees like Carmen–who are waiting to contribute to your company's success. Join the LA County Fair Chance Hiring Initiative and become a pledged LA County Fair Chance Hiring employer today!
Courtesy of TaskForce - Photo by Brandon Tauszik
*Portraits in this post were taken by Brandon Tauszik, with stories compiled by Alisha Jucevik.
Brian Stewart, MPP, MDR
Manager, Stakeholder Engagement