Returning Citizen Given Second Chance as DDOT Bus Driver

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Returning Citizen Given Second Chance as DDOT Bus Driver

Edward Jackson is not your typical bus driver. His enthusiasm for his job is deeper than a paycheck, it is a second chance at life. His past has prevented him from getting hundreds of other jobs because as soon as he tells him that he is a felon, the chances of him getting that position drop dramatically. He refused to let his previous mistakes negatively impact his future, so he kept applying and finally someone gave him a chance.

At 52-years-old, it took him three years to find a job and working for the Detroit Department of Transportation as a transportation equipment operator is his first real job. Now that he has been given this opportunity, he is not going to let anything get in his way of success.

“Now that I have this job, I do what I have to do to maintain it because it means that much to me. DDOT gave me a chance and I work hard every day to keep this job,” he says.

Jackson is like many other returning citizens who have had a hard time getting into the workforce but he wants his story to help encourage others and let them know that you should not give up.

“It’s a struggle, especially being an ex-con, because you feel like you want to give up since no one will hire you, then you feel like you want to go back to what you did in the streets. But you have to keep it in the back of your mind that that’s not what you want to do.”

After taking multiple tests and interviewing for the position, he says that he was in disbelief that someone hired him until he got his badge. Jackson enjoys his work and really likes interacting with the passengers he picks up on a daily basis, especially the young people. He hopes that his story can inspire young people to avoid making the same mistakes that he did.

This second chance has made life more enjoyable for Jackson, who can better support his family now and is excited about being able to buy his loved ones Christmas gifts for the first time in years.

The city of Detroit is committed to giving returning citizens a second chance. If you, or someone you know, has had a hard time finding a job, visit Detroit Opportunities and Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation.

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