Chroma Color Corp. has an unusual way of finding workers: It recruits mostly from the local prison.
Finding and keeping a solid workforce is a vexing problem for all manufacturers, but the company leans on hiring convicted felons.
While employing prisoners might scare off some, Vice Chairman Matt Barr said the company started hiring from the penitentiary in 1990 because it was having trouble finding and retaining factory workers. Altruism, seeing people from prison get a new start, has certainly become part of the company’s motivation. But the effort has clear value to the bottom line, he said.
“It’s been a great tool for us to develop a consistent workforce, train them according to our needs and ultimately as important or more important, give these gentlemen an opportunity to get some footing so that when they come out of the prison system they have an opportunity to turn their lives around,” Barr said.
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