New Racine Vocational Ministry effort offers ex-cons startup help to become entrepreneurs
April 7, 2014
The way Racine Vocational Ministry Executive Director Jim Schatzman sees it, most of the felons he works with have already been entrepreneurs.
The problem is, the businesses they ran were criminal ones.
So, RVM, which provides case management to help paroled felons re-enter society, recently started a new effort that aims to rechannel some ex-cons’ knack for entrepreneurship. The program, so far unnamed, will help interested paroled felons pursue a path toward starting their own businesses — legal businesses.“A lot of this demographic ... they’ve been using good business skills for illegal activities,” Schatzman said recently at RVM, 214 Seventh St. “They’ve learned their market, they’ve learned how to cost their product, they’ve learned how to supervise and manage the people that work for them, they know how to manage themselves in crisis situations — they have developed some really solid business skills — but they’ve been pointed into antisocial activities.”