*Dave’s Killer Breads routinely hires felons. The irony in that can’t be missed. The story behind it shouldn’t be.
In 2005, the Portland-based company’s namesake and co-founder Dave Dahl and his brother Glenn came together to work in the bakery their parents had started years earlier. Dave had come to the company straight out of a 15 year prison stint. Despite his past problems with the law, which after a number of years resurfaced two years ago when he was arrested for behaving erratically and running into police cars during a subsequent chase, his brother gave him a second chance and rehired him. That decision prompted the company to make second chances in hiring ex-offenders central to its hiring practices.
It’s an admirable decision and corporate priority, and one that should resonate in the black community. According to the NAACP, African Americans constitute nearly 1 million of the 2.3 million people incarcerated in the United States, and African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites. No other factor plays a bigger role in whether an offender returns to prison than their ability to find a job once they’re release. According to the administrative office of the U.S. Courts, half of the federal prisoners released who had not found employment during their supervised release committed a new crime or returned to prison.
So it’s not an understatement to say that Dave’s Killer Bread, which specializes in organic, whole-grain products, is ahead of a hiring curve that needs to be followed by a wide swath of the business community. We all also need to get behind Dave’s Killer Bread!
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