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A new program at Denver International Airport is giving hope to a group of often overlooked individuals. New Heights is giving former Colorado inmates a job and a steady paycheck.
“DEN New Heights offers alternative employment pathways to marginalized community populations and serves as an innovative approach to provide access for individuals to engage in a work experience at DEN,” DEN CEO Phil Washington said.
The pilot program launched in April of this year as part of the airport’s Center of Equity and Excellence In Aviation, in partnership with Bayaud Enterprises.
Participants are offered a job for 12 weeks working on the grounds doing everything from trash clean up to landscaping, to road repairs. They get a stable paycheck and a job to add to their resume post-prison.
James H Big Boy Jr. is one of the participants after serving 17 years at the Colorado Department of Corrections.
“People look at you the other way, you know differently, you know? Bayaud is not like that. This program is important because Bayaud really cares, you know?,” said Big Boy Jr.
The airport says for now the inmates who participate in New Heights are nonviolent offenders. This new pilot program will run for one year.