If you can’t find employees fast enough to fill openings in your company, you aren’t alone. But if you’re willing to give someone a second chance, your problem could be solved.

With national and local unemployment at some of the lowest rates in years, it can be a challenge for employers in some industries to fill current and future openings. But the Missouri Department of Corrections may be able to help. A unique program helps felons getting ready to be released from the prison system become job ready.

Stephanie Thomas from the Missouri Dept. of Corrections Rehabilitation Services says “plumbing, electrical, building trades, modern woodworking, um customer service you know for call centers and that kind of thing, professional gardening, the certified nursing assistant, the manufacturing tech, the heavy equipment operator, CDL, automotive.”

According to the Department of Corrections, up to 80% of the people who leave the prison system with a high school equivalency and job training won’t end up back in jail. Stacy Bond represents a major agriculture related business based in Nevada, Missouri and says she’s glad she attended the workshop held at the Missouri Career Center. She’s impressed with what she heard, which could mean hiring a former felon that went through the program.

Stacy Bond from Murphy Family Ventures said “I wasn’t familiar with all of the programs that were offered and the depth of the programs that were offered, so I was quite pleased.”