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Bonding Program Helps Companies Hire Ex-Offenders

Amy Hill
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio

Just like most of our nation, our state is experiencing historically low levels of unemployment.  As a result, many employers are looking to previously ignored pools of labor, such as people with criminal records.  There is a program in our state called Second Chance that helps former inmates obtain jobs.  But many employers still want more assurances which is why our next guest’s national program was developed.

Mike Switzer interviews Amy Hill, a federal bonding program manager at the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce in Columbia, SC. 

Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program

After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager. In 1999, he and his wife, Maggie, purchased and operated for eight years the Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. They grew the store from a bottom-tier operation in the Baskin Robbins franchise system to one in the top 5% nationwide within three years, tripling sales along the way. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts, an ice cream cart manufacturing company, which they sold in 2013.