US media firm launches ex-inmate apprenticeship scheme

Interesting news from the US, where one of the country’s most innovative ad fast growing media companies has announced a scheme to offer apprenticeships to former prison inmates.

Vice Media has grown from a small operation to become a multi-media empire encompassing web, print and TV. It has made a particular effort to focus on criminal justice issues, and says that as part of that, offering opportunities to former criminals amounts to a chance to “alleviate some of these issues by putting our money where our mouth is.”

 

“It’s not just activism”

According to the company, those accepted into the program get six-month jobs, working 40 hours per week for $15 an hour. People aged 18 to 25 living in New York City and on probation or parole are eligible. Vice would not say how much money in total is being committed to the program.

Vice is working with the New York-based Center for Employment Opportunities, which is employing more than 7,000 former inmates in temporary jobs with the hope they develop skills and a work history that would lead to more permanent employment. The center helps employ people in New York, California, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma

Alyssa Mastromonaco, the company’s COO, said, “It’s not just activism, rallying for a cause. This is meaningful institutional change if you can do it.”