A criminal record in Arizona makes it difficult to find a well-paying, permanent job. But, that does not mean you cannot find a job at all. There are agencies that specialize in placing ex-felons in specific jobs depending on the crime that they were convicted of. Many of these organizations are church-based or working in the nonprofit sector. Sometimes, they work with businesses in order to find appropriate placements for ex-felons so that they can have a fresh start after being in prison.
How You Can Increase Your Chances of Finding a Job After Being in Prison
 Make sure you check the news ads regularly for adverts that seek ex-felons
 Be proactive by calling the companies directly and explaining your situation
 Use the internet. Filter in the jobs that specifically ask for ex-felons
 Work through your social worker or probation officer
 Rely on friends and family to give you links to employers because they know you very well
Agencies That Help Ex-Felons Find Work
[a] The National Hire Network has been able to place many ex-offenders in various roles. It can even help you get a job out of state.
[b] America Works is an inclusive, non-discriminatory agency that works with people who have a criminal record. This agency can help you to find employment outside the state if that is what you wish.
[c] The Next Steps is a good option for meeting potential employers who may not know much about you but want to explore whether you are a good fit for them. It is also a great way to build your contact list for future opportunities.
[d] The Cooperative Union of Felon Friendly Employers, or CoFFE, is a great place to meet with industry executives. It also discusses many of the workplace challenges that are faced by people who join the workforce after being in prison.
[e] You can check the IRS listings on those businesses and organizations that are currently receiving the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, or WOTC. This is a scheme that pays employers by way of a reduced tax burden for employing people who have been in prison before.
The Background Check
A potential employer may do a background check. The database will list your criminal history, including arrests, trials, and convictions. It is far better to tell them first about it. Don’t wait for them to find out by searching. In this way, at least they can tell you upfront whether they will take you on or not. Part-time work is a solution for many ex-offenders because employers rarely do checks for these. However, they can do the checks later on, so once again, it might be a good idea to tell them upfront about your situation and history.
Starting Your Own Enterprise
It is very important to develop your knowledge and skills while in prison. There are many learning programs within the prison. You might get introduced to an employer in this way. It is also possible for you to start your own business once you have the right skills. The Small Business Association provides very useful information for you if you wish to go down this route.