Jason Wang on connecting people with criminal histories to good jobs

Thought leaders share ideas with WorkingNation Overheard at JFF Horizons 2023

“Our thesis is that the vast majority of people who go to prison or return to prison is because of poverty,” says Jason Wang, founder and CEO, FreeWorld. “We decided to create an economic development platform that trains and places people with criminal histories into living-wage careers in the trucking industry.”

WorkingNation sat down with Wang at JFF Horizons in New Orleans.                                                           

Wang says participants can move from application to earning their CDL in as little as 45 days.

“We’ve had approximately 6,000 people over the past three years join our program all across the nation. We currently operate in eight states in 22 cities,” says Wang. “We have a less than 5% recidivism rate. Our graduates earn anywhere between $60-to-100,000 within their first year alone.”

Wang – who has his own incarceration history – explains, “We chose the trucking industry to change the system through scale. In the trucking industry, there are four million people all across the nation that are in CDL careers and that there is a massive driver shortage of about 80-to-100,000 drivers just this year alone. And that will continue over the next couple of years. We’re essentially taking a social need – connecting people with criminal histories to a market need, a trucking industry that is desperate for drivers.”

Learn more about FreeWorld.