Henry announces new job initiatives

(Photo Supplied / City of Fort Wayne)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry has announced two new initiatives designed to help people find jobs and help small businesses increase their participation in City contracts.

The City has removed the question about whether an individual has been charged with a felony from the City’s job application. This practice is known as “ban the box.” The City says it will still perform background checks, but individuals will no longer have to declare a felony designation up front. Henry’s office says this provides qualified individuals an “appropriate opportunity and access to employment” with the City, adding that the change won’t impact community safety. Across the country, 33 states and over 150 cities and counties have adopted “ban the box.”

Fort Wayne is also encouraging more participation from emerging business enterprises by revising the emerging business enterprises executive order. Emerging businesses will now be allowed to earn revenue up to $10 million a year from the previous $5 million requirement.

The benefits to the program include assisting small businesses in their ability to serve as subcontractors on City projects, enhance a company’s opportunities to fill areas where subcontractors aren’t available and increase participation from emerging business enterprises.

The initiatives were recommendations from the Mayor’s Opportunity Advisory Council.

“I appreciate and value the work of the Opportunity Advisory Council. They’re committed to ensuring we do everything possible to enhance the quality of life for everyone in our City and work together to make a lasting and meaningful difference,” Henry says.

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