AT&T CEO Encourages Other Dallas Employers to Hire Formerly Incarcerated

Dallas pastor T.D. Jakes challenged corporate leaders Wednesday to hire thousands of people who have been released from prison, but locked out of the workforce. He made his pitch with one of Dallas' most prominent CEOs by his side: Randall Stephenson of AT&T. The two Dallas leaders — pastor of megachurch The Potter's House and top executive of the nation's 11th largest company — struck up a friendship after meeting two years ago at the Dallas Festival of Ideas. They talked about barriers to opportunity, especially for the formerly incarcerated. They decided to team up."If a guy gets out of prison and he can't get a place to stay because every application locks him out of a rental, much less ownership, he can't get a loan and he can't get a job, where else can he go except back to prison?" Jakes said.AT&T has hired about a dozen employees who were formerly incarcerated to work at a Richardson call center as part of a pilot program. Stephenson said the company now plans to scale the program and expand it to other cities. "If we truly are going to be a society who wants to ensure that we don't just have this revolving door to our prison system, then you've got to step up," he said. "You've got to be part of the solution."  Continue reading...

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