That No Question is Off Limits, REALLY.
What is "second-chance" hiring?"The term "second-chance" hiring describes the employment opportunities extended to men and women who have either been incarcerated or who have a criminal background (misdemeanors and/or felones). By restoring men and women to the workforce, employers assist in the process of increasing the tax-paying citizens of their community. And, truth: for many, it's really a first chance.
What are the advantages in partnering with Damascus for second-chance hiring?There are many myths that accompany employing formerly incarcerated men and women. Overall, men and women who are given a second chance are grateful, loyal, and have proven to be the hardest-working employees in the building. However, there are many factors in an under-resourced life that can derail a worker's success, such as domestic issues, transportation, reporting to a parole officer, and health issues. As an employer, you will be more frustrated than successful in navigating second-chance hiring without an expert alongside you. THAT is the advantage of partnering with Damascus. We understand business. We understand under-resourced lives. We have proven our ability to knit the two together successfully.
Is there a cost to work with Damascus?Yes. Damascus is set up exactly like a staffing agency. We operate contractually with our employment partners and are paid based on the employees we provide and the work they do. The advantage to the employer, however, is that the services we provide outside of work to ensure that workers are well-equipped to begin and sustain work, are simply value add. Damascus is a 24/7 operation. If our employees are working at your company--no matter what the shift--we are on-call to assist them and you.
Can my business really receive a tax credit for hiring from the second-chance work force?YES. At least in Ohio. While Damascus employees begin as temporary workers, the goal is always permanent employment. Once a Damascus employee transfers from our payroll to yours, a tax credit called the Workforce Opportunity Credit is available, which is described below: The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a Federal tax credit available to employers for hiring individuals from certain targeted groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. WOTC joins other workforce programs that incentivize workplace diversity and facilitate access to good jobs for American workers. One of the "targeted groups" in this federal credit is "qualified ex-felons". While Damascus does not use labeling language such as this, we get what they're after here. For the sake of your business, that is defined as a person hired within a year of being convicted of a felony or being released from prison for the felony. More information can be found here.
How long does it take for Damascus to provide employees at the work site?We know that you are calling us because you need workers quickly. To that end, we meet with your team to learn more about your organization, your company culture, and the challenges you have in hiring/keeping workers. Once we understand your goals, we match workers to the opportunity. Depending on the complexity of the positions, the skills required, and your market factors (location, shift, wages), Damascus workers are available to you within a week or two. Once we are partnering on a regular basis, Damascus can prepare people in advance so that placement can occur within a day or two. In short, Damascus would rather adequately prepare a worker for success than send you a warm body. When we spend time up front, your organization benefits long-term.
Does Damascus really have a 99% first-day show-up rate?Yep. Here's why: 1. We spend time getting to know our workers, so if we have decided that they should work for you, it's because we believe they have the desire, the ability, and the capacity to show up for the job. 2. The Damascus Model includes hiring men and women in teams to promote community and peer accountability. If our worker doesn't show up for work, someone else on their team loses an incentive. It matters. 3. Damascus has its own transportation fleet. This eliminates many concerns about attendance, tardiness, or transportation reliability for both the worker and the employer. 4. Our Client Reps accompany our workers to the job site on Day 1 to provide support, introduce them to their supervisor, and remind them of two things: we are truly in it with them and the work site organization is our partner.
Why are there no company partners listed on the Damascus website?Damascus respects the privacy of our partners and will list them on our website or mention them in public only with their permission. We offer the same discretion to your business. Want to talk with someone who has partnered with Damascus? Give us a call. We have HR Specialists, CEOs, CFOs, Plant Managers, and Shop Supervisors with whom we work and to whom we can connect you with to answer any questions you have about partnering with Damascus and hiring our workers.
How can I get started with Damascus?Click on the "Partner with Damascus" button on this page and provide us with some information about your company through the form provided. We'll reach out and set up a time to discuss your specific staffing needs and how Damascus can help. Even if you just have more questions, we'd love to strategize with you.
Josh Arnold, Vice President
Talbert House, Ohio
Since partnering with Damascus, hundreds of our clients who may not have had permanent work opportunities due to their felony records have gained employment. It's a win for the client, for Talbert House, and for society. Any expansion of the Damascus Model is a benefit to the men and women returning to society from prison and the large community.
Dr. Cheryl Lero Jonson, Associate Professor, Criminal Justice, Xavier University
The most effective reentry models have shown that programs which begin while men are incarcerated, continue through the transition to the community, and continue to be present and provide support once released are the most effective. The Damascus Model does just this and goes one step further. It provides social support and a sense of community for the men, both within the prison walls and on the outside. Therefore, without any reservation, I strongly support the model proposed by Damascus.
Jack Cowley, Alpha USA Division of Prisons and Reentry
The Damascus Model incorporates evidence-based practices for successful reentry and is supplemented by professional experience that is essential in achieving stated outcomes, such as corrections, corporate, legal, faith-based, and education.