One: A brownie makes the difference in the neighborhood

Ten things you should know about open hiring

Ten more things you should know about Greyston Bakery and its open hiring process: (Just to review, the Yonkers supplier of brownies to Ben & Jerry’s and Whole Foods skips background checks, skill tests, resumes and references. Applicants put their names on a list and are called when there are openings.

This post is related to yesterday’s report: No skills tests, no background checks, just a life-saving job at a bakery


This piece was produced by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Philly.com and WHYY/NewsWorks for The Reentry Project, a citywide collaborative news initiative. It is part of an occasional series — across the city and across platforms — on the challenges facing people returning from prison and what can be done about them.

The Philadelphia InquirerPhilly Daily NewsPhilly Dotcom

Open hiring means getting a job despite having criminal record


No skills tests, no background checks, just a life-saving job at a bakery

When former drug dealer Dion Drew got out of prison, no one would hire him. Then he learned about a bakery that didn’t do background checks, didn’t test skills, didn’t require references. As much as Greyston’s “open hiring” practice helped Drew, it’s also making a difference to the bottom line, says CEO Mike Brady.


This piece was produced by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Philly.com and WHYY/NewsWorks for The Reentry Project, a citywide collaborative news initiative. It is part of an occasional series — across the city and across platforms — on the challenges facing people returning from prison and what can be done about them.

The Philadelphia InquirerPhilly Daily NewsPhilly Dotcom

 

Readers react to stories about former drug dealers working at supermarkets

Ex-drug dealers turn their lives around at ShopRite, but what about the misery they caused on the street?

No doubt Jeffrey Brown, the chief executive of Brown’s Super Stores Inc., a chain of 13 ShopRite and Fresh Grocer supermarkets, deserves praise for hiring people released from prison. It helps them and it helps Brown’s business, because the ex-drug dealers, in particular, have real retail expertise.

Former inmate and experts agree: A good job is key to keeping people from returning to prison

What selling drugs taught him about running a supermarket

Louis Rivera remembers when he took home his first Brown’s ShopRite paycheck and showed it to his wife. “I was humiliated,” he said, handing over his check for $120. “I said, `I’m sorry, babe. I can’t do this. I’m going back to selling drugs.’

Supermarket hires former inmates; finds business skills

Now he slings ice cream, instead of cocaine; ShopRite finds talent in former drug dealers

One in an occasional series, part of a collaborative news project about the challenges – and solutions – of prison reentry in Philadelphia. When Jeffrey Brown looks to promote employees within his 13-store supermarket chain, he looks for people with hustle, ability, commitment, all that.

Mentorship as a tool to prevent re-offending

Could this one simple idea stop the revolving door to prison?

At age 35, Jermaine Myers has spent most of his adult life incarcerated. The cycle started when he was 16, charged with armed robbery as an adult. He got out at age 21 with the idea of getting a commercial driver’s license. Instead, he said, “I went back to drugs and guns within two months.”