From Convict To Construction Company Owner…….Paying It Forward
So how did Jenal Rentas go from convict to construction company owner? Well, it’s pretty simple. While serving 11 years in prison for selling drugs, he made a decision that would change his life. He knew that gaining employment the traditional route after serving in prison as a felon is almost impossible. When filling out a job application, that one question “have you ever been incarcerated?” can be a killer of any hopes of anyone who is trying to turn their life around after serving prison time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 68% of former inmates are actually arrested again within 3 years of release.
Jenal, while understanding these challenges, created a business plan while in prison. Once released, he had the opportunity to renovate an old home succesfully and from there Extremely Clean 2 Construction & Design in Springfield, Massachusetts was born. This entrepreneur understands exactly what it’s like to walk in their shoes being a former inmate himself. However, he believes that if he can turn his life around, so can others. “They make themselves irreplaceable.” Within the 7 years that the business has been in operation, he has hired at least 50 former prisoners. Out of that number, only four have went back to prison. Jenal hopes to expand the construction company, and renovate an abandoned building into a training center for employees. “We’d train them in-house to then send them out to work as well. And give these guys the skills they need to build a business,” he said.
While making this transition from convict to construction company owner, Jenal Rentas has made a huge impact on other’s lives in the process. His story is also a reminder that your past doesn’t have to define your future, but in fact can pave the way. Jenal says he has no regrets concerning his past. Without it, he wouldn’t be where he is today. In fact, he is the epitome of The Victim No More……