Bronson Joins National Ban the Box Campaign
Bronson Healthcare, the area’s largest employer with 8,600 employees, has become one of the first employers in southwest Michigan and the first health system in Michigan to join the national Ban the Box campaign. The campaign challenges the stereotypes of people with conviction histories by asking employers to choose their best candidates based on job skills and qualifications, not past convictions. Since 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. has a conviction history, the impact on people seeking employment is sizeable.
By banning the box, the upfront job application process at Bronson will change. As of April 3, 2017, candidates will no longer find the box at the beginning of the application that asks them to identify any past convictions. Candidates will be able to apply and be considered for open positions based on their qualifications and skills. Candidates who progress through the interview process and are offered positions within in Bronson will then undergo background checks. Bronson’s hiring standards remain unchanged and are regulated by the State of Michigan.
Locally, the City of Kalamazoo has adopted Ban the Box in its hiring practices. Nationally, over 45 cities and counties, including New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Seattle, and San Francisco have removed the question regarding conviction history from their employment applications. Seven states, Hawaii, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, have also changed their hiring practices in public employment to reduce discrimination based on arrest or conviction records.
By banning the box, Bronson is able to increase the number of incoming qualified candidates, eliminate false or inaccurate information in the application process, and create an inclusive hiring practice to meet the values of the organization.
“Bronson Healthcare is an anchor institution in our region. We have a role in leading, influencing and maintaining a vibrant, safe, healthy and equitable community,” says Beth Washington, director of diversity and inclusion in Bronson’s Human Resources division. “By adopting ban the box and other inclusive hiring practices, Bronson is helping to catalyze an ecosystem of success that lifts up local residents; helps create career pathways for underrepresented populations and begins to transform neighborhoods and ultimately the health of our communities.”
Bronson is currently hiring for a variety of positions in Calhoun, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties. To view job openings and fill out an online application, visit bronsonhealth.com/careers. For any questions, contact HRHelp@bronsonhg.org.