Wonolo Launches Program To Help Formerly Incarcerated Individuals Get Jobs

Wonolo, the leading online platform disrupting the temporary staffing industry, today in partnership with Harvard Business School, officially launched a program to help provide access to jobs for people who might fail a background check because of their involvement in the justice-system.

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The Path Forward Program substantially expands the ability of certain workers to access jobs through the Wonolo App without a background check – meaning workers across the U.S. who previously might have had difficulty finding jobs now have a new way to earn money, learn skills, and contribute to the economy.

Path Forward is a new model for providing more job opportunities for people with previous justice-system involvement.

“We hope this program expands economic opportunity for workers and businesses all while reducing the stigma associated with people who have been involved in the justice system,” said Yong Kim, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Wonolo. “The unemployment rate of individuals with criminal convictions is about five times higher than those without. By partnering with businesses open to working with such individuals Wonolo can help fight some of the inequalities plaguing society. We’re grateful to Harvard Business School for helping Wonolo lead this effort and for the workers who have already enrolled and the companies that are partnering with us by working with these individuals.”

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“We’re thrilled to be working with Wonolo to make headway on important societal issues,” said Zoe Cullen, Professor of Economics at Harvard Business School. “By partnering, we’re hoping we can show that there’s a better way to screen candidates than the traditional background check, which can suffer from racial bias and perpetuate inequities in the labor market.”

A working paper about Path Forward is being submitted to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

Pilot Customer Partners of Path Forward include:

  • Literati (Austin, TX)
  • Advanced American Labs (Atlanta, GA)
  • Woodhaven Lumber & Millwork (Lakewood, NJ)

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