First Step Act: A Positive Step for Workplace Talent Development


December 19, 2018
Tomorrow, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the First Step Act, a bipartisan criminal justice reform law that was approved yesterday by the Senate.

SHRM supports this bipartisan reform to help address workforce development needs and the skills shortage and reduce recidivism. It will help businesses that are struggling to fill positions in a job market where there are more jobs than applicants.

In a letter from SHRM supporting the legislation, SHRM President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. said, “The First Step Act provides criminal justice reforms delivering opportunities for job training, treatment and rehabilitation for the formerly incarcerated. These tools will help those with criminal records reintegrate into the workforce, while helping employers address their skills gap by hiring individuals from this nontraditional applicant pool.”

Nearly one in three adults has a criminal record. Therefore, SHRM believes businesses must hire qualified applicants from this untapped talent pool, or else face a perpetuation of the skills shortage. 

For additional SHRM resources on this topic: 

Please contact a member of SHRM’s media relations staff if you need additional information or seek an interview: 

Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You
Search Jobs


Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies

Search & Connect

HR Daily Newsletter

News, trends and analysis, as well as breaking news alerts, to help HR professionals do their jobs better each business day.