Sacramento, Calif. – The Associated Builders and Contractors of California (ABC of California) today renewed its commitment to Second Chance Month in April – making a pledge to lift those up who are committed to rejoining society and making meaningful contributions. In March of 2021, the White House Proclaimed April as “Second Chance Month,” citing that incarcerated individuals after serving their time should have the opportunity to fully reintegrate into society and that America’s criminal justice system must offer meaningful opportunities for redemption and rehabilitation.
“Second Chance Month highlights the value that reentering citizens bring to California’s construction workforce,” said John Hamo, Chair of the Board of Directors for ABC of California. “These individuals have paid their debt to society and should be given the opportunity to achieve their newly found career dreams. We have inspiring stories throughout the Golden State where ABC of California members are working with individuals seeking that second chance to build a bright future for themselves. California has significant infrastructure needs and requires a skilled construction workforce now and in the future, and reentering citizens can help us rebuild better and stronger than ever before.”
An example of this effort shines through in partnerships like the one between Hope Builders and Sunwest Electric, Inc. Hope Builders is an Orange County program that prepares disadvantaged young adults for living-wage careers by providing mentorship, life skills, and job training. Sunwest Electric, Inc. is an established leader in the construction industry with 37 years of experience and a member of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Southern California (ABC SoCal) that’s providing job opportunities for those looking for a second chance. Through this partnership, Hope Builders and Sunwest Electric have trained and employed a countless number of reentering citizens for successful careers.
Like the model established between Hope Builders and Sunwest Electric, ABC of California has member companies throughout the state are helping reentering citizens reconnect to the workforce and build futures that last. Hamo added, “It’s a successful program and here’s how it works: member contractors accept matched students, for some contractors, it’s more than 10 students at one time, into ABC training programs across multiple disciplines. It’s a win-win scenario – as these students are driven, motivated and changing their lives for the better.”
A similar partnership can be found between the Associated Builders and Contractors of Northern California (ABC NorCal) and the Salvation Army Alameda County. Together, ABC NorCal and the Salvation Army sponsor a program that’s providing a new transformational set of skills for individuals in need of personal reform after encountering recovery or homeless programs. While some in this program are switching career paths, others are gaining a change in lifestyle after experiencing substance abuse, homelessness, or a cycle of entries within the justice system.
Throughout the Golden State, ABC of California is building a workforce that is safe, skilled and productive using innovative and flexible learning models and apprenticeships. In fact, ABC of California member companies pay millions of dollars each year into workforce training programs that are connecting students, women, those in underserved communities, reentering citizens, and veterans with rewarding and quality careers in construction. To learn more about this partnership or ABC of California, visit the organization’s website which is found here.
Associated Builders and Contractors is a national construction industry trade association established in 1950 that represents more than 21,000 members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 69 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit us at abc.org.