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Fair Chance Hiring Initiative

Reimbursing local employers who hire individuals returning from incarceration.


The City of Philadelphia has a commitment to diversity and inclusion. As part of that, the Department of Commerce has created this program. The Fair Chance Hiring Initiative (FCHI) supports local businesses by referring Philadelphia job seekers returning from incarceration for open positions and providing financial incentives to businesses in the form of wage reimbursements and employment retention grants.

Our goal is to create a workforce that reflects the city's population. About 300,000 Philadelphians have had contact with the criminal justice system. Integrating these individuals into the workforce is a priority. The Fair Chance Hiring Initiative benefits residents and local businesses.

This program was introduced as an alternative to the Philadelphia Re-Entry Program (PREP) Tax Credit.


1515 Arch St., 12th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Eligibility and requirements

All Philadelphia employers committed to hiring returning citizens can join the Fair Chance Hiring Initiative.

To ensure FCHI funds are achieving the greatest impact, efforts are focused on providing monetary incentives to small and mid-sized businesses that:

  • Generate less than $5 million in annual revenue.
  • Hire Philadelphians returning from incarceration within the last seven years. The term of incarceration must have been part of a court sentence.

Employer requirements

Approved employers must:

  • Adhere to FCHI mission and principles.
  • Compensate qualifying employees at a minimum of $12.20 per hour.
  • Provide qualifying employees a minimum of 21 work hours per week.
  • Retain qualifying employees for a minimum of 90 calendar days.
  • Be registered and licensed with the City of Philadelphia; all applicable taxes must be current.

Employee requirements

To qualify, an employee must be:

  • A Philadelphia resident before and after incarceration, at the time of their hire, and for the duration of their employment.
  • Released from incarceration that was part of a court sentence. They must have been released within seven years of their first day of work.
  • Hired by an approved FCHI employer and retained in employment for at least 90 calendar days.

Program benefits

Approved employers are eligible to receive the following benefits:

  • Candidate referrals of qualifying job seekers for open positions from partner organizations.
  • $6.00 per hour wage reimbursement for compensable hours worked up to 960 hours within 180 calendar days of employment.
  • One-time $500 employment retention grant for each FCHI employee that completes the new hire period.
  • Best practice information on hiring and retaining returning citizens.
  • Help with supporting qualifying employees during new hire period.

Qualifying employees are eligible to receive the following benefits:

  • One-time, taxable $1,000 employment retention grant for completing the new hire period.
  • Support and help with maintaining employment.

Apply to participate

Contact the Fair Chance Hiring Initiative team to see if your business qualifies for this program.