- Kia Kokalitcheva
- Aug 22
Startup aims to be a LinkedIn for job seekers with a criminal record
|David Goldman / AP|
We attended the first leg of Y Combinator's "demo day," its twice-a-year event at which startups participating in its accelerator program present their businesses in front of a room of investors and journalists. One startup that stood out was 70MillionJobs: a job-placement service for folks with a criminal record.
The opportunity: 70 million Americans have criminal records, according to the company (hence its name). Most of the current organizations helping them with employment are small non-profits. 70MillionJobs founder and CEO Richard Bronson believes there is an opportunity to build a large for-profit service. "This population is having their moment," Bronson told Axios.
The startup addresses a number of issues for job seekers, employers and cities aiming to cut back on recidivism by ensuring former inmates can find work:
- Good job candidates might not pass background checks: 70MillionJobs can connect these candidates with employers that may hire them despite their background, says Bronson.
- Bronson says that in some cases these candidates are even better suited for certain jobs because they're used to working hard and following directions.
- In addition to helping employers find candidates (they're currently paying the company $250 when they hire a candidate),it's also in the best interest of municipalities for convicts to get jobs. 70MillionJobs ran a test program with the City of Los Angeles recently.