As U.S. Rubber Recycling Inc. is in the business of giving raw materials a second life, it’s not surprising that many of its employees have also been given a second chance at life.
The company recycles tires into sports flooring, acoustical underlayment and vegetation control matting. As California's largest user of recycled crumb rubber, the company diverted 9.3 million pounds of discarded tires away from local landfills in 2020.
“Embedding the sustainable practice of waste diversion into our business model is only half the story,” explains CEO Jeff Baldassari. “It’s our workforce that has been given a second chance after their incarceration that we are most proud of.”
The company also receives financial support from such programs, such as Prison to Employment, which will reimburse 50% of an employee’s starting salary for a 90-day period. When the company works with halfway houses, they also received some financial assistance.
“While these employees might require more investment in terms of resources and time, this population is very productive and loyal and has been such an important part of the success of our company,” says Morales.
As companies are struggling to find workers, why aren’t more turning to this population? “Many employers don’t know about this talent pool, are unsure how to find them and don’t realize that there are many resources available to help support these employees,” says Baldassari. “There is also the issue of worrying if this population will fit into the company culture. And I’m here to say that companies need to look beyond someone’s past and instead see their potential. All they needed was a second chance to become the people they want to be.”
Transformation is the culture upon which U.S. Rubber Recycling is built. “Our goal to improve the environment and improve people’s lives said Baldassari. “And our Bounce Back program touches the soul of U.S. Rubber Recycling and honors the people who have built our culture.”
Resources for Businesses Considering Second-Chance Hiring
|Second Chance Business Coalition
|Jails to Jobs
|IRS Work Opportunity Tax Credit