The perception and harmful consequence of the word felon in the workplace, told from a felon himself. Just three weeks after Harley Blakeman’s 18th birthday he was arrested for Drug Trafficking and sentenced to a year in prison in Georgia. After graduating from The Ohio State Universities Fisher College of Business with honors in 2017, He realized how incredibly hard it was to find employers who were willing to overlook a felony conviction from 5 years prior. Since that time, He has set out on a mission to get 1,000 employers to adopt more background-friendly hiring practices.
Blakeman is now an Author and Social Entrepreneur with a focus on reducing recidivism rates in America. He is the Founder of HonestJobs.co, a Fair-Chance online job board that is helping employers fill more job openings in a tight labor market while doing good for the community. Through his company and his book, Grit: How to get a job and build a career with a criminal record, he has helped thousands of formerly incarcerated job candidates find gainful employment. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at