Mike Labadie, Seko, ATL Managing Director; Char Dalton, Seko’s General Counsel, Vice President; Rob Keuten, CEO of Buyer Connected; Greg Washington, Director of Family Reunification/Reentry, City of Refuge; Jamal Lewis, President of Buyer Connected; and Rick Lee, Seko's COO, US

Seko Logistics, along with customer Buyer Connected, is launching a logistics training programme which will help former prisoners into employment in Atlanta, Georgia.

The programme is part of a not-for-profit initiative, City of Refuge, which supports people in struggling Atlanta neighbourhoods, where nearly 40% of residents live below the federal poverty level, while a Re-entry Hub provides opportunities to learn new skills.

The two-week training initiative will launch in January and be open to recently released non-violent offenders. Buyer Connected and Seko will provide training for nearly 250 people transitioning from prison to the workplace.

Training for warehouse management, along with forklift and health and safety certification, are part of the new programme.

“We already have other Seko stations asking to join this initiative – which is testimony to our business and community culture,” said James Gagne, Seko’s president and CEO.

“Seko may be the first partner for this new training, but we would encourage all logistics companies, partners and clients to participate, not only to address the labour shortages, but also to create more inclusive hiring and training practices.”

Rob Keuten, CEO of Buyer Connected, added: “When previously incarcerated individuals return to their community, they very often face immediate and multiple issues such as debt, unemployment, broken families and limited access to safe housing. The strain of these factors can lead to increased chances of them returning to prison, but the City of Refuge and its Re-entry Hub have proven that when the community works together, we can make amazing things happen.

“Since 2019, nearly 600 individuals have been placed in stable employment through this programme, and we know that Buyer Connected and our partner Seko Logistics can make a positive contribution to help more people.

“As soon as we outlined our plans to the Seko leadership team, their immediate reaction was ‘we’re all in’.”

Seko  is participating in the programme via its Seko Cares initiative.

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