By William Folkes
Columbus Lowndes Chamber of Commerce and the Paroled to Pride organization are fighting recidivism rates.
Paroled to Pride offers a 3 months course in hospitality to released offenders, to give them skills needed to apply for jobs.
Human resource departments from several local companies attended a breakfast and conversation, where program directors discussed how important it is to give past offenders a second chance.
“We trained them in the hospitality industry to kind of build up their character, being hospitable and not being what they learned in prison to be hard-core. It takes a community. Like it takes a village to raise children, it takes a community to help them find jobs suitable, that they can have stable employment and provide for their families,” says Executive Director Sharon Jones.
Paroled to Pride’s program has been around since 2007, and is proud to have an 85% success rate of graduates finding successful career paths.