Finding employment is hard for most people, but it is even harder for persons with a criminal record. Statistics by the US Department of Justice indicate that approximately 600,000 people are released from prison annually.
The number joins others in the employment search, and it continues to increase year after year. Many companies shy away from employing ex-convicts, denying them a second chance at life.
Most employers have limitations in their work requirements that keep many ex-convicts out of work and increase the chance of reverting to crime. In most states, rates of recidivism are above 30%.
Now, the government uses Tax incentives and other ways that encourage employers to hire felons.
What is Second Chance?
Second Chance is a program under the Second Chance Act. It offers support to all government levels, local, state, tribal, and non-governmental organizations that aim to keep recidivism levels minimal. Those organizations also ensure that the transition to society from jail, juvenile, and prisons is easier.
The administration of grants utilized by the Second Chance Act is by the US Department of Justice at the Office of Justice Programs. The Second Chance Act’s primary focus is to create awareness about ex-convicts’ plight by ensuring employment placements.
Among the industries that are receptive to Second Chance is the transport industry, and trucking in particular.
What Are Second Chance Trucking Companies?
These are truck companies that hire felons and ex-convicts, giving them a second chance at jobs they would have otherwise not found. It is decent employment with fair wages and keeps most felons out of prison.
In recent years, the US has experienced a shortage of truck drivers, making trucking jobs available for most felons. The second chance truck companies have become a viable source of employment for felons.
As much as second Chance programs try to help felons get jobs, any of these offenses will cause you a denial of a CDL. It will therefore cost you job with the trucking companies.
- If you have an arson conviction.
- A conviction for Manslaughter with a motor vehicle
- Conviction of treason.
- If you have a conviction for kidnapping, extortion, bribery, or smuggling.
- As conviction for causing death by dangerous driving.
- If you are still on probation.
Who Gets Hired?
You must fulfill these conditions to get hired by the second Chance Trucking companies to be eligible for the jobs.
1 Have a valid CDL license.
2 Be literate and can do simple math.
3 Not have more than three moving violations within three years of your application.
4 Be at least 21 years old.
5 Not be on probation.
6 Have no DUI convictions within the past two years.
7 Not have more than two preventable accidents within 12 months of your application.
8 Have no reckless driving violations within three years of your application
9 Not have more than one preventable accident in the last six months of your application.
You will also have to pass a Department of Transport (DOT) drug test that tests for the following.
- THC levels (Marijuana)
Below is a List of Some of The second Chance Trucking Companies
1 Carolina Cargo
2 Roehl transport
3 C.R. England
4 Western Express
5 Cardinal Logistics
6 Maverick Transportation
7 P & S Transportation
8 Prime Inc.
9 Southern Refrigerated Transport
10 TransAm Trucking
Carolina Cargo is always recruiting, and they offer weekly training and orientation. The second chance trucking company hire newly licensed drivers. That makes it an excellent place to begin your trucking career. To be employed by Carolina Cargo, you must fulfill some basic requirements below.
- You should be at least 23 years old.
- Have a high school diploma or its equivalent
- Have a valid CDL “A” license.
- Pass drug screening.
- Be physically fit for Long Haul Dispatch- You must have done a DOT physical in the last six months of your application.
- You should only have at most one changeable accident within five years of your application.
- You should not have any DUIs within 30 days of your application.
- Have no major violations within five years of your application
- You should only have at most five minor violations within five years of your application.
Carolina Cargo offers a good salary and benefits.
For Roehl transport, they hire felons with a seven-year or older record and offer driver training. They are also keen on vehicle-related convictions, and you need to have a clean driving record of getting hired.
As with most trucking companies, they offer competitive pay, among other benefits.
C.R. England is a refrigerated transportation company whose focus is primary on Truckload and LTL services. They hire felons whose records are 10-years or older. You must pass a drug test and fulfill other requirements that pertain to truck driving.
They own driving schools where they train new drivers. They pay well, and they also offer other benefits.
Western Express is among the second chance trucking companies that hire felons with a five-year or older criminal record. They also offer competitive salaries and benefits.
You must fulfill all the requirements needed to be a truck driver by their standards and the transport department.
Cardinal Logistics is one of the most diverse logistics companies and hires felons on an individual case basis. They conduct thorough background checks before hiring. It is because they only hire drivers who they believe will offer the best services to customers.
You must pass drug screening tests, among other requirements by the Department of Transport. The wages are reasonable and competitive, as well as bonuses and other benefits.
Maverick accepts applications and reviews them on a case-to-case basis, and its operation location is mostly in the South, East, and Midwestern US states. The company follows a schedule that ensures that drivers have enough time at home.
You need not have any experience because the company will pay for DCL training and offer pay during orientation.
P & S Transportation
P & S Transportation is a second chance company that evaluated felon applications on each case independently. The criminal record must be ten years or older, and you should be at least 23 years. But you must still not have been convicted of any DUI or DWI with ten years by the time of your application.
The pay is competitive, and they give drivers time off every weekend for rest. You should have at least two years’ experience because they do not offer CDL training. The company provides sign-up bonuses and referral bonuses.
The company evaluates applications specifically against the job applied for, but they value honesty in disclosing your previous record. They operate in both the USA and Canada. They pay to depend on the type of truck and offer referral bonuses and other benefits and incentives. There is no experience required as Prime Inc. pays for CDL training.
Southern Refrigerated Transport
The company will review your application on a case-to-case basis for any misdemeanor or felonies. The management’s review is considered only for non-violent offenses. You should have at least four months of continuous driving experience within five years of your application. You should also not have any DUI or a DWI within the last five years.
Other driving requirements apply. They offer fair remuneration and benefits.
TransAm hires felons whose records are five years or older. Other basic qualifications include a valid CDL-A and to be at least 21 years old. DOT and drug tests are requirements to fulfil. You will also need a secure place to pack the track as you will be required to take it home.
The other requirements are similar to the general driving requirements mentioned elsewhere in this article. They also offer competitive salaries and benefits.
The second chance companies discussed above are just a few of the many that hire felons. Some do it on a case-to-case basis others on the actual time you have spent since your last conviction.
Qualifying for a CDL with a Felony
Applying for a CDL can be an uphill task when you have a felony on record. The good news is that some truck driving schools are considerate of the plight of felons. There will be a thorough background check to ensure that you have no pending convictions and probations. At times, your record will need to be clear for several years.
The truck companies all have different regulations and requirements that they subject felon applicants to.
Training as a Truck Driver
Not all second chance companies offer training. Some will require you to have training already and with enough experience depending on their policies. Training is a must to get a CDL. The trucking industry requires verified qualified drivers and, therefore the strict requirements.
The requirements for attending a truck driving school are:-
- Have a social security number as proof of US residence.
- You must complete a DOT physical test and pass a DOT drug test.
- You must have a valid driving license.
- Have a high school diploma.
- Must not have any felony convictions related to illegal drugs in a commercial vehicle.
- You must not have a DUI within five years of your application to truck driving school.
- Meet all the requirements by your state.
- You must not have a drug addiction.
Tips for Getting Hired by a Trucking Company as a felon
Being a second chance company does not guarantee you a job; it just means they are more considerate of your application. You must be able to fulfill all requirements for the job for the positive feedback.
Here are some tips that increase your chances of getting hired.
- Ensure you fall within the time limit of which they hire felons.
- Update your resume.
- Highlight your strengths and experience and the specific capacities you worked in.
- Be as truthful about your record as you possibly can. If you lie and get caught, you lose a chance because you will be considered dishonest and unreliable.
- If your driving record is clean, ensure you mention that too.
- Treat the application and interview as you would for any other job.
- Show that you can be reliable by providing all the information required and by being punctual.
How Does Your Driving Record Affect Chances to Get CDL or a Job?
With your particular felony, you might still be able to get a CDL. But bear in mind that other traffic violations can negatively affect your chances of earning your CDL. Since you are getting into the transport industry, the hiring companies are very keen on violating traffic rules and committing vehicle-related offenses.
Since your particular state issues the CDL, you will need to determine the CDL laws for the specific state you are applying for. If you are a chronic traffic rules violator, there are chances that you might not get approved for a Commercial Driving License. You might be considered a danger to yourself and others on the road.
For DUI, mostly one offense is acceptable in many states and trucking companies. More than that might cost you the chance to be hired even if you hold a valid CDL. Most trucking companies will only hire you if the DUI is over two years old.
Through the Second Chance Act, the government has created an avenue through which it can help felons transition into society. The second Chance trucking companies are trying to make getting hired easy for you as well.
A study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that 83% of convicts were arrested again within nine years since their release. Lack of employment and lack of basic needs results in hopelessness leading to criminal activity.
For the government to reduce this percentage, it should put more effort into helping felons transition well from prison life. It can by creating easier employment channels, education, and moral support. Giving good jobs to felons can help decrease recidivism rates. It will raise their self-esteem and self-value, making it harder for them to want to go back to prison.
Do not let that felon you are trying so hard to put behind you stop you from getting hired. We have discussed at length how it works and who is likely to hire you. It’s your turn now to take up the burden of finding an appropriate trucking job.