In a significant speech during his visit to Newark, President Barack Obama announced that he would direct federal agencies through an executive action to “ban the box “of criminal history questions on some government job applications. President Obama’s announcement builds on the pioneering work of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and its coalition partners in banning the box in New Jersey with the passage of the Opportunity to Compete Act in 2014. The Opportunity to Compete Act seeks to give people with criminal convictions a fair opportunity to secure employment. President Obama’s executive action follows Senator Cory Booker and Representative Elijah Cummings’ introduction of The Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act of 2015, which is a significant federal legislation that is similar to New Jersey’s Opportunity to Compete Act.
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