Stand Together Ventures Lab (STVL3, LLC) announced an investment in Honest Jobs, a leading national job platform focusing on fair chance employment which launched back in 2019. The investment amounts to $1.5M seed financing round.
The mission of Honest Jobs is to help people impacted by the criminal justice system find employment fast. The company was founded by Harley Blakeman, who through personal experience with the justice system – including a year of incarceration – saw the unique challenges of finding post-conviction employment. He is one of the 70% of Honest Jobs’ staff who have a felony conviction.
At present, more than 500 companies use Honest Jobs’ fair chance employment platform to hire people impacted by the criminal justice system. For job seekers, the platform is free to use. While it takes an average of 200 days for people with criminal records to find employment using traditional methods, individuals who use Honest Jobs’ platform typically find work within 36 days. These individuals also land jobs that pay an average of $30,000 more than jobs that are found via other avenues.
“This fund raise was critical as we have more employers and job seekers signing up than we could service without accelerating our hiring plans,” said Honest Jobs CEO Harley Blakeman. “Stand Together Ventures Lab will deliver a lot of strategic value beyond funding, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with them and other investors.”Harley Blakeman
“Honest Jobs is blending leading-edge technology, lived experience with the justice system and a deep belief in people to help justice-involved individuals find meaningful work,” said Sihyun Choi, Managing Director, Stand Together Ventures Lab. “The Honest Jobs platform is a win for job seekers and employers, alike – particularly at a time when companies are struggling to find talent. It is an honor to back Honest Jobs and help them scale their impact in communities across the country.”
What is fair chance hiring?
Roughly 77 million Americans – or 1 in every 3 adults – have a criminal record. Barriers that exclude these individuals from the workplace cost the economy billions per year. Employers who hire people with criminal records experience less turnover and report feeling satisfied with the quality of work these employees demonstrate. Customers, meanwhile, support businesses that hire people with criminal records.