New Partnership to Promote Second Chance Hiring in Manufacturing

Partnership with the Charles Koch Institute Enables Industry to Grow the Modern Manufacturing Workforce While Closing the Opportunity Gap

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Manufacturing Institute announced a groundbreaking partnership with the Charles Koch Institute focused on expanding second chance hiring opportunities in the manufacturing industry.

“With more than half a million open jobs right now in manufacturing and 4 million jobs to fill over the decade, our industry’s strength and America’s economic future require an all-of-the-above workforce strategy,” said MI Executive Director Carolyn Lee. “Second chance hiring gives businesses an opportunity to welcome highly motivated, engaged, productive and loyal new team members that may otherwise be overlooked. This is not only the right thing to do for our businesses, but it’s also the right thing to strengthen our communities. This partnership enables the MI to educate manufacturers in America on second chance hiring best practices and help them utilize second chance hiring as a strategy to fill open jobs. This effort will also expand our Diversity and Inclusion initiative that’s critical to the future health and success of the industry.”

The MI, the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers, leads the industry in identifying and addressing institutional barriers to creating and sustaining equal opportunity and a more diverse and inclusive workforce. One-in-three Americans possess a criminal record. Without second chance opportunities, many in this sizable talent pool are excluded from the workforce, needlessly leaving them on the sidelines as employers search for candidates who can fill skills gaps. The MI will use this grant to provide resources and expertise for employers on second chance hiring as a key solution to address the skills gap in manufacturing. The MI will develop and offer roundtable discussions and webinars, C-suite leadership events, case studies, pilot programs and original research tailored for the manufacturing industry.

“One of the biggest barriers to successful reentry for those with a record is lack of employment opportunities,” said CKI Executive Director Derek Johnson. “If we truly want to reduce recidivism and increase public safety, all while empowering those returning to our communities to contribute at their fullest potential, we need to expand second chance hiring opportunities. Businesses are leading the way on this important aspect of criminal justice reform, especially those in the manufacturing industry. CKI is proud to join this partnership to scale that impact and expand second chance hiring across more employers.”


About The Manufacturing Institute

The Manufacturing Institute grows and supports the manufacturing industry’s skilled workers for the advancement of modern manufacturing. The MI’s diverse initiatives support all workers in America, including women, veterans and students, through skills training programs, community building and the advancement of their career in manufacturing. As the workforce development and education partner of the NAM, the MI is a trusted adviser to manufacturers, equipping them with resources necessary to solve the industry’s toughest challenges. For more information on the MI, please visit

About the Charles Koch Institute

The Charles Koch Institute inspires and invests in social entrepreneurs developing solutions to America’s most pressing problems. Read more about its support for social entrepreneurs committed to criminal justice reform here and consider partnership opportunities here. For more information about CKI’s activities across other issue areas, visit