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17 Definitive Methods of Finding Jobs for Felons in Madison in 2022

By Last update November 15, 2022
Madison Wisconsin skyline

Job searching with a criminal record doesn’t have to seem like a waste of time that’s full of disappointment. Our goal here at Relaunch Pad is to make this task a bit easier by giving you the tools necessary to find employers with jobs for felons in Madison, Wisconsin. In a college town encompassing approximately 300,000 citizens and 5,500 businesses, this is your chance to show those people watching and waiting for you to fail not to count you out just yet — you are a warrior, and you will succeed.

Our team members have worked diligently to provide the best opportunities to get you back into the working world quickly. We started by contacting businesses across the United States to ask about their hiring practices — specifically, their policies relating to people with a criminal history. We then took the businesses that offer employment to former offenders and compared them to the top companies in the area. The result is this resource. 

We’ve also included useful advice and tips to help you along the way. Many Relaunch Pad team members have experienced the justice system from one side or the other. We’re familiar with the anxiety and stress that comes with the battles you’re facing. 

Jobs that hire felons in Madison

Madison Wisconsin cityscape

Quickly locate local employers willing to hire people with an imperfect past. Fill in the fields below with job type, industry, distance, etc. This will narrow your search for jobs that hire felons in Madison to give you the best results. 

Top companies that hire felons in Madison

Although a college town, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, and information technology are the industries thriving here.  If you already know which industry you want to work in, consider an entry-level position. This is the easiest and fastest way to get hired at most companies.

These are great options for someone with a criminal record, but why not use this as an opportunity to explore new career paths? Don’t worry if you’re not sure where, or how, to start. Temp agency jobs for felons in Madison will allow you to examine other career fields and take the guesswork out of the process. These positions generally require little to no specific education or prior experience.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of the top companies that hire felons in Madison. These companies have either made their hiring policies public or are often recruiting new employees. Read the entire article to see all that Madison’s workforce has to offer or click on a company’s name for specific details. 

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Alliant Energy Center

GE Healthcare

Ultratec Inc

Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Madison Metropolitan School District

Spectrum Brands

Hooper Corporation

Adams Publishing Group

Sardine

When starting your reentry into the workforce, don’t overlook your resume. All information should be correct and current. If you’re feeling stuck, don’t worry. We’ve created a guide to help revamp your resume after a conviction. 

Now that you have an updated resume, it’s time to hit the ground running. Let’s explore the local companies most likely to hire employees with a criminal background.

University of Wisconsin-Madison

The University of Wisconsin-Madison could be the perfect choice if you’re wanting a career in the education field or are just interested in working for a college. With nearly 22,000 people on their payroll, the university offers a multitude of entry-level positions. And, after a bit of digging, we found this on their website (spoiler alert: While they’re required to run your criminal history for employment, a record won’t automatically disqualify you):

“Applicants with a criminal history will not be automatically disqualified from UW System employment, and a UW System employee’s criminal history will not result in automatic disciplinary action or dismissal.”

University of Wisconsin-Madison’s entry-level positions include:

  • Custodian
  • Groundskeeper
  • Housekeeping
  • Maintenance
  • Security Guard

Alliant Energy Center

Probation and parole appointments, community service, daily reporting, random drug screening, or other court-ordered mandates can make working a typical 9-5 job challenging. A temporary job with Alliant Energy Center could be the answer. The Center hosts around 500 events a year. These events include major concerts, sporting events, local meetings, and everything in-between, so employees are typically expected to work evenings and weekends, and maybe even some holidays. These hours could give you a chance to comply with the courts, satisfy your employment requirements, and earn a paycheck while working a nonconventional schedule.

Entry-level jobs here include:

  • Events Operations Coordinator
  • Service Desk Associate
  • General Laborer
  • Usher
  • Valet

GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare provides imaging, monitoring, mobile, and diagnostic solutions to clinicians worldwide. While we can’t say for sure whether they’ll consider applications from people with a complicated background, it’s worth the shot — especially if you have, or are working towards, a degree in information technology. GE Healthcare also has plenty of entry-level positions for those without a college background but are looking for a career in the medical industry.

The following are a few entry-level positions at GE Healthcare:

  • Accounting Specialist
  • Digital Sourcing Associate
  • Security
  • Biomedical Technician Apprentice
  • Clinical Applications Specialist

Ultratec Inc.

Leading the industry and setting the standard, Ultratec Inc. uses CapTel technologies to provide telephone solutions for the deaf and hearing impaired. Their telephone systems are designed so the person can read, as well as hear, the words from the caller on the other end of the line. They offer jobs in several departments from manufacturing and production to sales and customer service.

Entry-level jobs at Ultratec include:

  • Assembly Line Team Member
  • Machine Operator
  • System Administrator
  • Sales Associate
  • Customer Service Representative

Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services care and treatment facilities provide support to patients with developmental or intellectual disabilities. They’re also often looking for people interested in working hands-on with the patients. Behind-the-scenes support staff positions are another option. Not only does the Department of Health Services offer its employees great state benefits, but paid training as well. While it’s true that they must conduct a background check before extending an employment offer, an imperfect past won’t automatically rule you out. 

Below are a few entry-level jobs at Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services:

  • Vocational Rehabilitation Associate
  • Custodian
  • Receptionist
  • Nursing Assistant
  • Driver

Madison Metropolitan School District

Anyone interested in working within the education field should consider applying to the Madison Metropolitan School District. After doing a bit of research, we came across this statement on their website:  

“Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of religion, race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, physical appearance, marital status, disability, arrest or conviction record, membership in the national guard, state defense force, or any reserve component of the military forces of the United States or this state, political belief, sexual orientation, less than honorable discharge, source of income or the fact that an individual is a student.”

This means the school district won’t disqualify applicants based on their past, making this a great choice for someone with a complicated background.

Some entry-level positions at Madison Metropolitan School District include:

  • Janitor
  • Bus Driver
  • Substitute Teacher
  • Secretary
  • Cafeteria

Spectrum Brands

Spectrum Brands employs more than 12,000 people who are committed to providing consumers with products in five main sectors: Global Batteries and Appliances, Global Pet Supplies, Home and Garden, Hardware and Home Improvement, and Global Auto Care. The manufacturing company also has a reputation for hiring former felons, providing they can pass a drug screen. Looking for another perk? Spectrum also hires seasonally, perfect for someone looking for occasional work. 

Examples of entry level jobs at Spectrum Brands are:

  • Machine Operator
  • Production Worker
  • Warehouse Worker
  • Maintenance
  • Forklift Driver

Hooper Corporation

If you are a member of the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) or are considering joining, Madison’s Hooper Corporation could be your opportunity to get back on your feet. Their compensation program includes health insurance, dental benefits, sick pay, life and disability insurance, and a 401k retirement plan. 

At Hooper Corporation, entry-level jobs found include:

  • Tree Trimmers
  • Underground Electrical Installers
  • Warehouse Personnel
  • Shop Mechanic
  • Ground Persons

Adams Publishing Group

Established late 2013 in Minnesota, Adams Publishing Group is a family-owned community newspaper. Not only do they serve 19 states, including Wisconsin, the company has already expanded to include more than 220 media-related services and products. An entry-level position here could be a great opportunity. Anyone interested in print and digital media won’t want to pass up.

Entry-level jobs at Adams Publishing Group include:

  • Sales
  • Customer Service
  • Custodial
  • Driver
  • Writer

Sardine

Sardine is a lakeside bistro and bar located inside the city’s historical Machine Row building. Their hours of operation are from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, making this another excellent choice for former felons who are unable to work full time or are looking to supplement their income. 

At Sardine, entry-level jobs available are:

  • Host/Hostess
  • Chef
  • Line Worker
  • Dishwasher
  • Server

Trucking jobs for felons in Madison

Because of their reputation for hiring people with a record, the trucking industry is a great choice for former offenders wanting to reenter the workforce. Many trucking companies will either train you on-site or reimburse for training expenses. Depending on how far you’re willing and able to travel, truckers typically have flexible schedules. Long-haul trucking, less-than truckload hauler, flatbed hauler, tanker hauler, and auto hauler are just a few options to choose from. 

Below you’ll find the top companies with trucking jobs for felons in Madison:

  • Pulvermacher Cartage of Wisconsin
  • Badger Brothers
  • Dayton Freight MSN
  • YRC Freight
  • V & H Trucks

Warehouse jobs for felons in Madison

A warehouse position can also get you a paycheck and help satisfy any court obligations pretty quickly. Not only do many warehouses have a variety of roles to be filled, but most run on an eight-hour shift schedule. 

The prime warehouse jobs for felons in Madison are:

  • RateLinx
  • C.H. Robinson
  • SwanLeap
  • LSNE Contract Manufacturing
  • WSI

Temp agency jobs for felons in Madison

If you need a job fast, or aren’t sure what position or field suits you, consider employment agency jobs for felons in Madison. Staffing agencies often hire former offenders and offer entry-level positions across a wide range of industries. 

We’ve compiled a list of the top temp agencies in Madison here:

  • Secure Staffing, LLC
  • Spherion
  • Celebrity Staffing Solutions
  • The QTI Group
  • Drake & Company Staffing Solutions   

Second chance and job training programs for felons in Madison

In November 2015, former President Obama encouraged federal agencies and companies with government contracts to hold off on conducting background checks until later in the interview process. This was the beginning of the Ban the Box statutes.

More than 37 states and 150 cities have enacted some form of Ban the Box mandates. Unfortunately, Wisconsin isn’t one of them. That said, Madison has established legislation prohibiting employers from asking potential new hires any criminal history questions or conducting background checks until a conditional job offer has been made. Keep in mind, however, this applies only to businesses contracted by the city with contracts worth $25,000 or more. 

Looking for work is hard enough, conviction or not. Below, we’ve compiled a list of second chance and job training programs for felons in Madison. This list provides additional resources to help rebuild your life after a jail or prison sentence. 

Resources for former felons in Madison:

  • Employment and Training Association, Inc
    • Mission: The Employment and Training Association is committed to providing employment and training services in a way that preserves personal dignity, considers individual needs and differences, and supports individuals and their families.
    • Services offered: Education, Employment
  • WCS
    • Mission: WCS is a nonprofit human service organization that addresses the individual and systemic barriers that prevent many in our communities from leading productive and healthy lives. We empower individuals to take ownership of their role in pursuing a positive future by providing a continuum of human services and encouraging individuals to build skills and overcome adversity, such as substance use, mental health needs, criminal justice involvement, and employment obstacles. We provide access to a continuum of support services for individuals facing challenges with justice system involvement and unmet behavioral health needs, guiding them as they bridge the gap between where they are today and where they would like to be.
    • Services offered: Employment, Housing, Legal, Mental Health
  • JusticeWorks
    • Mission: The mission of JusticeWorks, Ltd., a non-profit community justice organization, is to foster forms of justice that strengthen and heal the communities of Central Wisconsin.
    • Services offered: Education, Employment, Family, Legal
  • JustDane
    • Mission: JustDane helps transform individual lives and social systems to create a just and equitable community.
    • Services offered: Employment, Famly, Medical, Mental Health
  • Circles of Support
    • Mission: Circles of Support is a volunteer-based prison reentry support program.
    • Services offered: Clothing and Household, Mental Health
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Leah Smith
Reentry Educator

Leah is a Reentry Educator with The Relaunch Pad. A recovering addict and mother of three, her two oldest adult children are dealing with their own addictions and problems, one being recently released from prison and the other is currently incarcerated. Her goal is to give hope to not only her own children, but to others in similar situations.