A pre-employment screening often turns up a criminal background record. An estimated one in four Americans has a criminal background. However, there are many reasons to look past that – as long as the candidate’s criminal past does not have a direct bearing on the job position.

The federal government enacted The Second Chance Act in 2008, which gives some federal agencies and non-profits grants to train and reintegrate people with criminal records. This was followed by other federal initiatives such as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program, where companies receive tax credits by hiring people with criminal records. Also, many states and municipalities have created similar initiatives. The employee pool is the smallest it has been in years; now is a good time to consider giving someone who wants to work an opportunity.

Find out if your business qualifies for the WOTC program and find out if your state or community offer initiatives. And help someone make a lasting change in his or her life. For more information about pre-employment screening, call Legal Locator Service toll-free at 866-225-2435 or 503-697-5821. In business since 1996. Certified Women Owned Business. WBE-ESB. Also, legallocatorservice.com.