Trent Griffin-Braaf: The Benefits and Myths of Hiring Formerly Incarcerated People

When you think about your company’s DEI efforts, are formerly incarcerated people in that equation? Probably not, right? Most companies shy away from hiring returning citizens for fear they can’t be trusted, will not deliver value, or won’t show up. And you would be wrong.

Today, Trent Griffin-Braaf shares his story, breaks apart negative stereotypes, and tells us about the many benefits of hiring such individuals. Trent explains how he saw transportation as a way to fight poverty and create more equity in employment, housing, and education in areas that need the most support.

We talk about the challenges faced by formerly incarcerated individuals in reintegrating into society and he shares the often overlooked impact of incarceration on mental health. But most importantly, Trent shares how your organization can support returning citizens in the workplace, what programs to put in place, and how to source this untapped, extremely loyal, talent pool, and why employing such individuals benefits your business and your community.


To access the episode transcript, please click on the episode title at 

Key Takeaways:

  • Transportation opens up many opportunities and paths for individuals to gain further education, increase pay opportunities, gain medical access, and, in many other ways, help to reduce poverty.
  • For mental health, you need to understand what you need to show up – everyone is different and will have a different recharge. There is strength in that. 
  • Every person should live their life like a business – with mission statements, values, and ethics. 


“Organizations need to identify what’s the real risk with certain crimes, then eliminate certain crimes if needed. But for most organizations, there should be no reason why they can’t work with you.” —  Trent Griffin-Braaf

Episode References: 

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About Trent Griffin-Braaf, Founder & CEO, Tech Valley Shuttle

Trent Griffin-Braaf is the CEO and Founder of Tech Valley Shuttle.  He has grown his business from a hotel-based transportation agency in 2016 to a fully customizable company specializing in workforce transportation. He now owns two of the larger Black-owned businesses in the Capital Region. Trent has been highlighted in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Forbes 1000, and the New York Times for his work. He was also recently named the 2023 SBA Upstate NY Small Business Person of the Year for expanding his ride services during the pandemic, filling a critical community need. Trent was formerly incarcerated, and since his release, he has dedicated his career to creating opportunities for others in the same position through Tech Valley Shuttle. His ultimate goal is to be a resource for others by shifting how organizations perceive and hire from underrepresented groups.

Connect with Trent Griffin-Braaf:

Website: & 





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