Fair-hiring meeting tonight at Warren church

WARREN — From 6 to 7:30 p.m. tonight, the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative, the Ohio Organizing Collaborative and Citizens Uniting Citizens are having a fair-hiring meeting at New Freedom Missionary Baptist Church, 1590 Tod Ave. NW, to discuss issues impacting communities in the city and across the state, including mass incarceration.

A small box on an job application requesting an individual’s criminal background may seem harmless for some, but for an estimated 7,000 Warren residents and more than 34,000 Trumbull county residents with an arrest or conviction record, this box leads to an alienation from society and significantly decreases such individual’s opportunities for upward social mobility, said MVOC leader, Barbara Phinisee.

A fair-hiring policy would remove the “have you been convicted of a felony” box from city job applications, move the background check to the end of the hiring process, and effectively expand employment opportunities for returning citizens and people with felony records who are working to turn their lives around, MVOC officials say.

Similar policies have been adopted in more than 10 cities and counties in Ohio including Youngstown, Akron, Canton, and Cincinnati.

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