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21 Certified Ways to Find Jobs for Felons in Chicago in 2022

By Last update August 25, 2022
Chicago Illinois cityscape(1)

Finding a job with a criminal record can be a major challenge. That is why it’s important to have resources like this guide for  jobs for felons in Chicago. 

Chicago is home to nearly 3.5 million people, making it one of the largest cities in the entire country. But while there are lots of jobs available in this thriving—mostly industrialized—economy, knowing where to look makes all the difference. 

In the spirit of arming you with as much information as possible, we have personally contacted over 1,000 businesses to get clear information about their hiring policies for former offenders. We also hire staff who have personally gone through the experience of looking for work with a conviction on their record. So let’s get into it, shall we? Read on for some companies that hire felons in Chicago!

Jobs that hire felons in Chicago

Chicago Illinois skyline

Below you’ll find a search feature along with listings selected as the most likely to hire former felons in the area. You can fill in the jobs that hire felons in Chicago areas below to narrow your search.

Top companies that hire felons in Chicago

All of the jobs below have been selected because they are likely to be former offender friendly. Some of the companies have made public statements explaining their openness to hiring former offenders. Others simply operate in former felon friendly industries. Chicago is particularly known for having a wide range of jobs in the manufacturing industry. 

However, as our list of entry-level, former offender jobs will show, there is a host of positions available for people with a wide range of different backgrounds. 

Click on the company name to jump right to it, or read on for our complete list!

Walgreens

Treehouse Foods

Navy Pier

Mariano’s

Lou Malnati’s

Advocate Health Care

Hyatt

Loyola University

Caterpillar

Berry Global

Before you get too far along, make sure your application is in tip top order by taking a look at our guide to making a resume with a record.

Done? Alright. Let’s take a look at some promising job opportunities. 

Walgreens

Walgreens, a well-known drugstore chain, has its headquarters in Chicago. Consistently providing the community with an enormous number of jobs, it’s a great place to look for work if you have a record.

Here are some jobs you can expect to encounter at Walgreens: 

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Custodian
  • Customer Service
  • Maintenance

Treehouse Foods

Treehouse Foods is an international food processing company with a significant presence in the Chicago area. Being one of the largest manufactures in a city quite known for manufacturing, it can serve as a very dependable place for former offenders to find entry-level work with the potential for above-average pay. 

Here are some jobs that might be available there:

  • Machine Operator
  • Maintenance Technician
  • Press Operator
  • Custodian

A famous landmark, Navy Pier has supplied Chicago with an enormous number of jobs for decades. While the area contains many businesses that might be hiring independently, it is also possible to work for the Pier itself, maintaining the general area and assisting in the various banquets and other functions so regularly hosted there. 

A few of their entry-level positions:

  • Custodian
  • Maintenance
  • Customer Service
  • Banquet Server

Mariano’s

Mariano’s is a grocery store chain with a number of locations in the Chicago area. While they do perform background checks, a number of former felons have reported successfully getting hired and holding jobs at this major employer. 

Look for entry-level roles like the following for quick employment:

  • Cashier
  • Shelf Stocker
  • Warehouse
  • Custodian

Lou Malnati’s

Lou Malnati’s is a world-famous Chicago-based chain restaurant. In addition to serving deep dish pizza, they also have a long history of hiring people with felony convictions on their record. 

Here are some jobs you might encounter at this iconic Chicago-based business:

  • Server
  • Busser
  • Host
  • Dishwasher

Advocate Health Care

Advocate Health Care is the largest network of hospitals in the state of Illinois. Operating a number of locations in the Chicago area, they represent a significant source of entry-level positions. It’s also worth noting that Advocate Health Care has publicly stated their willingness to consider people of all backgrounds, making them a potentially excellent opportunity for former offenders. 

Here are some jobs that might be available at Advocate Health Care:

  • Custodian
  • Food Service
  • Maintenance
  • Administrative Assistant

Hyatt

Hyatt operates the largest hotel in the Chicago area. With an established history of giving people with criminal convictions a second chance, Hyatt may serve as a vast source of entry-level employment. 

Check out the following accessible positions:

  • Front Desk
  • Custodian
  • Food Service
  • Housekeeping

Loyola University

Loyola is a major university in the Chicago area open to hiring former offenders in a variety of roles. If you’ve got the credentials to teach, this may be your way back in. Working at a university can be very rewarding and engaging.

Here are some jobs you might encounter:

  • Custodian
  • Food Service
  • Groundskeeping
  • Administrative Assistant

Caterpillar 

Caterpillar manufactures construction equipment. They provide the Chicago area with a significant number of entry-level jobs, and have made public statements attesting to their openness to hire people with convictions on their record. 

You’ll find job opportunities like the following at this company:

  • Shipper and Receiver
  • Line Operator
  • Welder
  • Customer Service

Berry Global

Berry Global (known formerly as Landis Plastics) is a former felon–friendly manufacturing company with lots of jobs in the Chicago area. 

Here are some positions you might encounter:

  • Shipping
  • Line Worker
  • Customer Service
  • Custodian

Trucking jobs for felons in Chicago

The trucking industry serves as a consistent source of high-paying work for former offenders. For many, it can be a great way to earn above-average wages while also enjoying a relatively flexible schedule. 

Here are some trucking jobs for felons in Chicago:

  • Knight Transportation
  • Dart Transit
  • Cowan Systems
  • PAM Transport

Warehouse jobs for felons in Chicago

Warehouse jobs are similar to positions in the trucking industry for a few reasons. They are historically friendly to people with convictions, they often feature above-average pay, and they also operate on shifts that allow you to have a flexible schedule if needed. 

Look into these potential  warehouse jobs for felons in Chicago:

  • DPDHL
  • Apexx
  • TownTasks
  • Zekelman Industries

Temp agency jobs for felons in Chicago

Employment agency jobs for felons in Chicago often serve as an excellent bridge towards more permanent work. Fortunately, there are lots of opportunities to take advantage of. 

Check out these local temp agency jobs for felons in Chicago:

  • Elite Staffing Inc.
  • Alternative Staffing Inc.
  • Total Staffing Solutions
  • City Staffing

Second chance and job training programs for felons in Chicago

Chicago implemented Ban the Box laws back in 2015. This means that employers are not allowed to ask about a candidate’s criminal record on job applications. While this does it make it easier to find work with a prior conviction, there are other community resources available as well.

Here are some second chance and job training programs for felons in Chicago:

  • City of Chicago Ex-Offenders Program
    • Mission: Through the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services and the Mayor’s Ex-Offender Transitional Jobs Program ex-offenders can receive job-readiness training, subsidized work experience, and supportive service.
    • Services offered: Employment, Housing
  • Inner-City Muslim Action Network Green Reentry
    • Mission: Green Reentry provides transitional housing, life skills education, and sustainable construction training for returning citizens and high-risk youth in Chicago and Atlanta.
    • Services offered: Employment, Housing, Mental Health
  • Re-entry Employment Service Program (RESP)
    • Mission: To serve Illinois workers and employers to the best of our ability every time and to use our knowledge of the Illinois workforce to inform sound policy decision making.
    • Services offered: Employment
  • Safer Foundation
    • Mission: To support, through a full spectrum of services, the efforts of people with arrest & conviction records to become employed, law-abiding members of the community and, as a result, reduce recidivism.
    • Services offered: Addiction and Recovery, Clothing and Household, Education, Employment, Mental Health
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Paul is a Reentry Educator with The Relaunch Pad who lives in the midwest. He has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and is dedicated to providing accurate and insightful information to former offenders who are seeking employment.