Should HVAC Companies Hire Felons?

Absolutely! I believe everyone needs another chance and not just a second chance, I mean another chance to break away from the stigma of being a felon. Some of the greatest guys I know I met in prison. For the past 7 years, this being 2022, my wife and I have been volunteers at a state prison where we hold Sunday services and a Wednesday evening addiction recovery program.

I have to qualify my statement by adding that over my career in the HVAC business I have had as many as 35 employees at a time and found several of them over the years to be less than honest. So who do I trust and how do I qualify them?

We are in the service business, so employees need to be somewhat presentable. They need to have good language skills and be able to communicate. Showing up on time is a good habit that any employer appreciates. Respecting the employers property, specifically tools and trucks will win him a lot of merit badges so to speak.

And there are bad business owners out there also. I’ve made mistakes in not hiring the right people. Some I really regret.

If your thinking about hiring a felon, you have to think about how badly he wants to succeed. Going back to prison is a bad thought for most of these guys. True the recidivism rate is high and many return for the second time or more, but I just go back to everyone needs another chance.

Most of the crimes that keep these guy falling back into prison are drug related and companies can take preventative measures to monitor drug use. Everything is a crap shoot these days. Any employee can cheat on a drug test. It all goes back to who has the most incentive to do a good job and who is going to be most grateful.

If you are a felon and want to go to work in the HVAC industry, I say get out there and start knocking on doors. Be honest about who you are and what you’ve done. Not details, leave that up to the employer to ask about or research. Don’t accept defeat or being turned away.

I have a young friend currently in prison who has had a meth problem for over the last many years. He would be clean for a while and then he would disappear. I always knew what he was up to. Sure enough, in six months or maybe even two years later he would call me. I was the only person out of all the people he know that kept that same phone number.

The reason I bring him up is that at one clean stage of his life he was having trouble finding work. While counseling with his Bishop he was told to start at one end of town and start knocking on doors until you’ve knocked on every door and you’ll get a job. He has never forgot that and when he want’s to work he always has a job.

Likewise, if you’re a felon, and you want to work for an HVAC company, knock on the door of every HVAC company you can find and don’t get depressed by the outcome. Network amongst your friends and family and never give up.

Try to make your time worthwhile. Do a search in your local are for HVAC companies that hire felons. Do another search for companies that don’t hire felons. Make a good list and knock on every door.

Should Home Owners Worry About Companies That Hire Ex-Convicts?

A home owner should always have his or her guard up regardless of who is in, around, or working on their home. It isn’t always the person you hired that will become the potential problem. I had an engine hoist stolen from my back yard. Just someone who saw the hoist and wanted to have it.

I had a tree trimming company scam me out of $700 so I had only me to blame. I should have recognized that scam but I was desperate. Don’t know if he was a felon. Doesn’t matter. He’s was just a dishonest individual.

Those ex-convicts that are pedophiles or that have a history of sex crimes are another story. We all need to protect ourselves and our families. Every state has different laws about companies. Those employers who are considering hiring someone with a history of sex crimes should check with an attorney before making any commitment.

Home owners, parents, should never leave children or young adults at home alone to receive service men or women who come to do work at here home. I always raise a fed flag when my customer says they are gone but their daughter is home. That can go bad in more ways than one.

Chad Peterson

Chad Peterson is near 40 year veteran of the HVAC industry. "I like to explain heating and air conditioning problems in a way the average home owner can understand. "

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