NSS News & Events
Next Step Staffing CEO, Ricky Brown, Recieves NAACP Award
Carlos Scott, September 21, 2013
The NAACP branch of Atlanta honored Next Step Staffing, Inc.'s CEO, Ricky Brown, with the prestigious Community Service Award at the Jondelle Johnson Freedom Fund Dinner on Saturday, September 21. Brown was awarded for his outreach efforts in the Metro Atlanta area via Next Step Staffing, Inc.'s initiatives to rehabilitate the disadvantage workforce and provide opportunities for career advancement. Other honorees include Ms. Brenda Joy "BJ" Bernstein, Esq., Bernstein and Associates, Dr. Creflo Dollar, Senior Pastor, World Changers Church International, Dr. Pearlie Dove, Past President, Delta Sigma Theta, Mrs. Lovette Russell, Community Activist, Philanthropist, Spelman College, Mr. Tommy Dortch, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, TWD Inc. Mr. Mawui Mel Davis, Esq., Davis Bozeman Law Firm, PC.
Special guest and co-host Frank and Tanya Ski where among the renowned socialites and civil rights activist in attendance In addition to their countless supporters.
Staffing firm gives convicted felons a second chance
By Morse Diggs, FOX 5 reporter
ATLANTA - A personnel staffing firm is giving convicted felons a second chance. Ricky Brown founded the Next Step Staffing agency after he found employment doors closed to him after she served years in prison. Brown has convinced business owners to give ex-offenders a chance.Herbert Greene is one of those who have used Brown's agency. Greene has hired 15 ex-cons to clean his building.Brown says he has a database with 2,000 names of ex-offenders. He needs business owners to come forward with jobs. They can get a substantial tax credit for making the hire.
Leadership Atlanta visits the Old Fourth Ward
Today members of the 2014 class of LEAD, Leadership Atlanta's professional development program for young leaders 25-32, met in District 2's Old Fourth Ward neighborhood to learn about the challenges of chronic unemployment in metro Atlanta. Inspired by Kwanza's #YearofBoulevard initiative, Leadership Atlanta took a "case study" approach to the issue. Working closely with the District 2 office, class members learned about the history of District 2's Boulevard corridor (thanks to Fourth Ward Alliance President Kit Sutherland); met with nonprofit and corporate executives who are working to increase employment opportunities for neighborhood residents; and ended their day with a keynote speech from Kwanza about the challenges that local elected officials face in connecting their constituents with employment opportunities. At the conclusion of today's activities, LEAD members were fired up and ready to bring their resources and networks to the service of Boulevard corridor families and seniors. Stay tuned! We will see these smart, compassionate young leaders in the neighborhood again soon.
LEAD members were riveted during their conversation with Next Step Staffing CEO Ricky Brown. Next Step provides temporary staffing opportunities to ex-offenders and veterans.
Thanks to the United States Administration Please take a look at the video below
Law could put more convicted felons to work in Atlanta
Jovita Moore August 29, 2014
From the story:
Ricky Brown owns Next Step Staffing, a company that places those with criminal convictions with jobs. He spent time in prison for a drug charge.
“I came home from prison after serving 13 years off a 15-year sentence and couldn’t get a job,” said Brown.
He said that is why he started his staffing company. He now has 6,000 men and women with criminal records who he is helping to place in jobs.
“It’s not going away when you’re talking about 700,000 now ex-offenders released from jails every year nationwide,” said Brown.
In Atlanta and Fulton County, 2,400 are released from jails and prisons every year, according to the legislation.
“We’ve got to do something because at the end of the day they’re in your house; they’re down the street; they’re in your neighborhood. They’re everywhere,” said Brown.
Atlanta City Council approves “Ban the Box” legislation
October 6, 2014
ATLANTA – The Atlanta City Council approved an ordinance Monday expanding efforts to eliminate discrimination against potential applicants for jobs with the City of Atlanta who have prior criminal convictions.
The legislation was sponsored by Atlanta City Councilmember Kwanza Hall and co-sponsored by City Councilmembers Natalyn Archibong, Andre Dickens and Joyce Sheperd.
“I am grateful to my Council colleagues for their support of this initiative,” said Hall. “Under Mayor Reed and the Department of Human Resources, the City of Atlanta has established a progressive track record on this issue. Today’s passage of the ordinance codifies a practice that opens opportunities to consideration for government employment that many local governments across the country do not yet offer.”
While the City of Atlanta’s current application process no longer requires an applicant to reveal a prior conviction on an application, the legislation officially makes it city policy except when state and/or federal laws require criminal background investigations for certain positions, including positions that involve work with children, positions in law enforcement, and other sensitive positions.
"We applaud the City Council for taking this step toward ending employment discrimination against people with prior convictions,” said Marilynn Winn of Women on the Rise, a grassroots organization of formerly incarcerated women. “I have personally experienced the ‘box’ resulting in my automatic disqualification many times. I may have all the skills and qualifications, but if I’m asked to check that box, I can’t even get an interview. Everybody deserves the chance to work and put food on their table and a roof over their head. We're glad that the City of Atlanta recognizes that many of us with backgrounds have a lot to contribute and a fair hiring policy means we may actually have a chance to do just that.”
By codifying this fair hiring policy, the City Council has shown its commitment to real policy solutions to the crisis of mass incarceration, said Xochitl Bervera of the Racial Justice Action Center. “Employment is both the number one barrier for people coming home from prison and jail and the most significant factor in whether a person stays in the community with their family or returns to prison,” she said. “Blanket disqualification is not just unfair, it’s bad policy -- both increasing recidivism and removing skilled and hard working people from the hiring pool. We're glad the Council is taking this step and look forward to seeing a similar policy governing all businesses who contract with city."
Studies have shown that individuals with criminal records suffer from pervasive discrimination in many areas of life, including employment. Employers have increased the use of background checks considerably, with the majority of large employers in the U.S. now screening their potential workers for prior convictions.
Each year the City of Atlanta and Fulton County have 2,400 people returning home from Georgia's jails and prisons seeking employment.
Research shows that lack of employment is a significant factor in recidivism rates, with people who are employed proving significantly less likely to be re-arrested.
Hall’s legislation was developed as part of the Ban the Box Program, a national movement with the goal of increasing employment opportunities for individuals with prior criminal convictions by removing the question regarding prior criminal history from employment applications.