East County News Service
February 26, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - State Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) has introduced Senate Bill 1216, which would establish a business tax credit for employers who hire high-risk youth. The credit applies only to jobs for young people ages 18-25, who have been convicted of a crime and completed a work readiness program through a qualified job training provider.
“We need to open the doors of opportunity for our high-risk youth by helping them enter the workforce,” stated Senator Ben Hueso. “Senate Bill 1216 will incentivize California businesses and help our high-risk youth become fully employed, functional members of society.”
Research indicates that the first 14 months are critical for a convicted felon’s transition back into the community, and lack of state help with job placement or continued rehabilitation increases the chances that they will re-offend.
“For young people who have made mistakes and paid their debt to society, one of the last hurdles is reentry into the workforce,” says Rob Chávez, CEO for the Urban Corps of San Diego County, a youth job training and high school education program. “It’s hard enough being a job seeker; having a prior conviction can be debilitating when job hunting with little to no real-world working experience. We believe in second chances. SB 1216 rewards employers who invest in the future of our community by investing in second chances for youth.”
"We always tell the students in our Juvenile Court and Community Schools that no matter what race they are or what neighborhood they come from, or what their past behavior was, they have the ability to succeed in school and beyond,” says Dr. Randy Ward, San Diego County Superintendent of Schools. “SB 1216 represents a chance to ensure that is the case by removing some of the barriers faced by students who are looking for every opportunity to transition into productive adults."