Interview Contact/Media Contact: Jackie O & Co.
Jackie O. Asare, 718-930-8400, Jackieo@jackieo.co
The Operation Organization’s Operation Reset Program Gives A “Hand-Up” to U.S. Veterans and Ex-Offenders! “Today Is A Yes Day!”
Terrance Milton remembers when he first came upon that box on his employment application. Have you ever been convicted of a crime? He knew that answering yes would disqualify him from the positon he applied for and he is not alone! Men like Milton have Operation Reset to thank for their return to the workforce. In 2010, Rocky McKay aka Rocky The Roofer (RTR) started The Operation Organization Inc. (TOO) a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose program Operation Reset gives a “hand-up and not a hand-out” to returning citizens – U.S. Veterans who’ve returned home jobless, non violent ex-offenders, and homeless people in need of a second chance. Operation Reset’s co-founder and Vice President, Tara Cummins, shares the goals of the non-profit, “Our goal is to provide the training and education needed to be successful in the construction industry while rebuilding confidence and self-worth. Operation Reset offers a ‘hand-up and not a hand-out’ to those who continually encounter rejection.”
According to a report by the National Employment Law Project, over 70 million Americans have some type of arrest or conviction on their records with people of color disproportionately represented. A New York Times/CBS News/Kaiser Family Foundation poll reveals that men with criminal records account for about 34% of all nonworking men ages 25 to 54. The National Institute of Justice reports that between 60-75% of ex-offenders remain unemployed within a year of their release and 50% of them are less likely to hear back from employers after they disclose their convictions. Rising concern that background checks are used to systematically exclude applicants with criminal records has fueled a national “Ban The Box” movement challenging employers to choose their best candidates based upon job skills and qualifications, not past convictions. President Barack Obama is leading the national agenda by directing federal agencies to ‘Ban The Box” in their hiring decisions, prohibiting them from asking prospective government employees about their criminal histories on job applications. But the reality is, once they disclose the conviction at the actual interview, there’s a strong chance they they still won’t be hired.
The idea for Operation Reset came while Rocky and his RTR Consulting team were on a roofing contract. “One of my workers yelled for me to come and see a busload of men who were being transferred from prison to a halfway house. We went down to talk with them and turns out they were all looking for jobs. We decided to see if Operation Reset would work by hiring these men and we haven’t regretted that decision. That day and every one since has been a yes day!” After training with Operation Reset, qualified participants are given certificates that open up opportunities within Operation Reset’s network of roofing/construction companies across the nation. Operation Reset has provided roofing and construction services through RTR Consulting to: NASA Space Center (TX & MS), Fort Benning (GA), Mayo Clinic, Universities of North & South Florida, University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital, Gladys Knight Chicken & Waffles Restaurant (ATL, GA), University of Florida, Publix (FL & GA), Kroger (TN & GA), Walmart (FL, GA, SC and NC), Hampton Inn, Embassy Suites (FL), Palm Coast Fire Dept (FL) and more. At Fort Lee Army Base (VI), RTR hired approximately 100 men, 89 of those men have jobs in construction now thanks to the training and mentorship of Rocky The Roofer.
Today Terrance Milton is a successful businessman, running a truck repair company. He’s expanded his business from mechanical repair to buying and selling trucks and has committed to offering his “hand-up” to Operation Reset participants interested in training as automotive mechanics. “We are not defined by our past mistakes. Sometimes we just need a new start, a new opportunity to become better, not in spite of our past, but because of it,” shares Rocky. “Watching people change their lives through Operation Reset is evidence that as we expand our program nationally, we could not only change the lives of our participants, but the communities they’re a part of, just by saying yes!” Tara adds, “If your company can give our participants a fresh start, we’re looking to expand the service nationally, and in different industries. You can change a life if you’re willing to say Y-E-S! The power of yes can help someone reset!”
The Operation Organization Inc. (TOO) a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and is accepting donations to expand their training programs nationally and provide their participants with the necessary tools for training. Ready to reset, don’t let your past predict your future, visit Operation-reset.com for more information on the program and ways you can help someone else reset.