Andre Eddings life was beginning to look dire.
After being caught and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, Eddings was in jail with a felony record. I recollect guessing to myself, ‘Im a failure now, ‘ he tells. I will never amount to anything. Im simply hurling my life away.
As a kid, Eddings had shown a lot of promise. Growing up with mothers who struggled to get by, he was dedicated to creating a life for himself. I wanted to construct something of myself. I wanted to become successful. I wanted a good job making a livable wage , he tells.
He kept a 3.8 GPA through high school, then continued to perform well academically as he went on to college and played football. So what happened? Watch 😛 TAGEND
It was only after a football injury that things ran awry.
The doctor basically gave me an ultimatum, he says. Maintain playing and potentially injure myself for the rest of my life, or dedicate it up and save my body.
Eddings chose to give up his athletic career and objective up falling out of college and moving home to work.
With no degree and stuck in a dead-end chore, Eddings looked to others to find a track toward what he considered success . It didnt take long for him to start dealing drugs and to get caught.
When he got out of jail, Eddings wanted nothing more than a path back onto the straight and narrow.
But with a misdemeanour on his record, that seemed impossible.
I went to multiple interviews where Id interview pretty well and theyd offer me the position, he says. But once employers discovered his record, the job offers would disappear .
With few job options and his restitution and court fees piling up, Eddings felt backed into a corner. I was going to go back to selling medications, he tells. What he actually wanted was a solid undertaking making an honest days work, but with his past preventing him from moving forward, he felt he had no choice.
Thats when he got a call that changed everything .
“I wouldnt give up quite yet, ” said an encouraging friend who knew a better route.
Daves Killer Bread, an organic bakery in Milwaukie, Oregon, doesn’t disqualify candidates based on their criminal backgrounds.
Eddings happily took a position low on the totem pole, eager to forge a track forward for himself. I was nervous. I was a little scared. I didnt really know what to expect. Id never worked in production before, let alone a bakery, he tells.
He neednt have worried: It clicked right away.
Two and a half years later, he’s risen through the ranks and is a production deputy superintendent with aspirations to continue working his route up the company.
“My life has made a complete 180 -degree turnaround, ” he says.
“Now I have two beautiful children, Im engaged, Im renting a house with the hopes of buying a house here in the future.” He’s also a mentor to other employees with similar backgrounds at Dave’s Killer Bread .
“I help other people coming into the company who have similar backgrounds to me, you know, talking to them, letting them know it can be done if you want it, ” he says. “With this company here, you can stimulate something of yourself.”
Dave’s believes so strongly in the power of second opportunities because Dave himself co-founded the business after finishing a prison stint.
“The only reason employers dont wishes to take over people with a background or who are convicted felons is exclusively out of dread, ” Eddings says.
For him, it’s worth health risks. “You never know what you can get out of a person who is ready to attain the change, wants to do better for themselves, wants to become somebody.”
The hiring policy at Dave’s isn’t merely informed by kindness it’s also good business strategy.
“In a tight job market, where motivated and engaged employees are hard to find, we have found that individuals who are given a second chance are highly appreciative of the opportunity to provide them and are eager to learn and grow professionally , ” says Gretchen Peterson, the director of human resources at DKB.
“The second-chance partners we apply come to work grateful and happy to have a task every day what employer doesnt want to see that in their workforce? ” she says.
If more companies hired like Dave’s Killer Bread does, one desperate history after the next wouldn’t have to repeat itself.
Peterson tells she supposes H.R. professionals sometimes fool themselves into thinking they are getting a “better quality” nominee through the background check process.
“In my experience, there are just as many people with no background who end up being terminated for steal or fraud. In fact, it’s the people who have been given that second chance who work all that much harder to induce something of it.”
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