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Honest Jobs, Inc. Announces $1.5M Seed Round to Help People with Criminal Records Find Jobs Faster

Honest Jobs helps job seekers with criminal records across the country find employment, while making it easier for fair-chance employers to identify and retain great talent.

Austin, TX. (March 11, 2022) – Today, Honest Jobs, Inc., the leading national job platform focusing on fair-chance employment, announced that it has closed a $1.5M seed round.

The mission of Honest Jobs is to be the Hub where people with criminal records come to build careers and employers come to find great talent. The company was founded by Harley Blakeman, who through personal experience with the justice system – including a year of incarceration, saw the unique challenges of finding post-conviction employment. He is one of the 70% of Honest Jobs’ staff who have a felony conviction.

At present, more than 600 companies use Honest Jobs’ fair-chance employment platform to hire people impacted by the criminal justice system. The platform is free for job seekers. While it takes an average of 200 days for people with criminal records to find employment using traditional methods, those who use Honest Jobs find work within 36 days, on average. These individuals also land jobs that pay an average of $36,500, which is significantly more than jobs they find elsewhere.

Honest Jobs raised a $1.5 million seed round with investment from STVL3, LLC (Stand Together Ventures Lab), Employment Technology Fund, Strada Education Network, Colorado Impact Fund, Gary Community Ventures, and Jason Mendelson.

“This fund raise was critical as we have more employers and job seekers signing up than we could service without accelerating our hiring plans,” said Honest Jobs CEO Harley Blakeman. “These investors deliver a lot of strategic value beyond funding, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with them.”

“Honest Jobs is blending leading-edge technology, lived experience with the justice system, and a deep belief in people to help justice-involved individuals find meaningful work,” said Sihyun Choi, Managing Director, Stand Together Ventures Lab. “The Honest Jobs platform is a win for job seekers and employers, alike – particularly at a time when companies are struggling to find talent. It is an honor to back Honest Jobs and help them scale their impact in communities across the country.”

Honest Jobs aims to develop relationships with Departments of Corrections, probation and parole departments, and state jobs agencies across the country. These partnerships will help create more streamlined incarceration-to-employment pathways that the entire community will benefit from, while saving taxpayers money. Honest Jobs also aims to expand its network of fair-chance employers to include more white collar and technology jobs (e.g., customer service, sales, software development). Employers can post unlimited jobs for free, with the option to sponsor their listings or take advantage of recruiting services.

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Roughly 77 million Americans – or 1 in every 3 adults – have something that shows up on a background check. Barriers that exclude these individuals from the workplace cost the economy billions per year. Employers who hire people with criminal records benefit from greater diversity, lower turnover, and as-good or better productivity. Meanwhile, customers overwhelmingly support businesses that hire people with criminal records, as do prospective employees.

About Honest Jobs

Honest Jobs is the leading national job marketplace for people affected by the criminal justice system. Since launching in 2019, we’ve attracted over 600 companies by providing technology that makes it easy to offer fair-chance employment, while helping to mitigate the risk of negligent hiring at scale. We also pride ourselves on the fact that 70% of Honest Jobs employees have felony convictions and first-hand experience with the barriers our job seekers face. Visit us at



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