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Pathways for Change provides CDL training for formerly incarcerated job seekers

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — There is a pathway for change after incarceration, and an Indy-based nonprofit is helping guide people along the way.

The people behind Convicted 2 Change are a pathway to financial stability and economic mobility.

Thousands of Hoosiers are released from jail every year. A large portion struggles to find employment or employment that supports their financial needs. Convicted 2 Change was formed in 2017 to address that issue, hoping to provide tools to avoid re-incarceration. Today that work is taking off.

John Lindsey knows what it’s like to try to pick up your life after what he calls a bout with the judicial system. He was one of the lucky ones who found a company to take a chance on him.

“I believe trucking is very forgiving,” Lindsey said.

He didn’t want success to stop with him. And in 2017, Convicted 2 Change, a nonprofit focused on helping people with low income seeking to break into the transportation industry and those previously incarcerated looking for re-entry services.

It’s an opportunity to provide direction and resources, tools often not easily assessable to communities of color.

“Getting out and seeking a career that was rewarding. A career that could give me the opportunity to provide for my family. And then I found it in transportation,” Lindsey said.

Of the thousands released from jail, he says 80% are Black and brown people. So, from Convicted 2 Change, came Pathways for Change. A four-week CDL training program for people recently incarcerated.

“And not everyone coming out wants to take the warehouse position or maybe take the cashier position,” Lindsey said.

A recently awarded $104,000 grant from the United Way is helping lead the next class to a future on the road.

“They’re looking to stay away from the choices that lead to get them in there. So we just want to provide an avenue to secure a career that could give them success,” Lindsey said.

They say they are looking for continued support more specifically anyone who’d be able to donate a truck to use for training.