Kroger partnership that helps people with criminal records shows sign of success, leaders say

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis city leaders told FOX13 that since the city partnered with Kroger, to help people with criminal records find jobs, three people in the program are working today.

Mayor Jim Strickland is trying to make sure those in need of a second chance can find work.

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City leaders said the partnership with Kroger is already showing signs of success.

“These are individuals that want to be better fathers and better mothers, right now if they’re not working, they’re not tax paying citizens,” Ken Moody, special assistant to Mayor Strickland.

FOX13 first reported about Kroger’s partnership last month with Manhood University and Women Offering Women Support or WOWS.  Both groups offer men and women another chance to start over.

“To give those individuals a second chance who have made mistakes, who have background challenges and those background challenges have perhaps kept them from getting jobs,” said Moody.

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Moody said since the announcement of the partnership with Kroger, WOWS and Manhood University’s registration increased from about 50 to 200 people.

“Part of the challenges many of these individuals have is jobs because again once employers do their background checks, those things come up and most employers aren’t willing to hire individuals with background challenges,” Moody stated.

Moody said Kroger is the first major corporation to step up and offer to lax some of its hiring policies so men and women with backgrounds can compete for good-paying jobs.

“They’re looking to hire on a weekly basis,” he said.  “Since the Kroger announcement, this is probably the biggest demand of our program that we’ve had.

These jobs are paying anywhere from $15 to $20 an hour with benefits.

There are some charges that a person may have on their record that the company will not take.

The next session for both groups begins Tuesday.

Kroger said the individuals who started work completed orientation and they are looking forward to new candidates every day.