Homeboy Industries enters recycling business to help employ ex-convicts

John Gregory Image
Friday, February 17, 2017
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Homeboy Industries purchased Isidore Electronics Recycling to help employ ex-convicts.

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Homeboy Industries, a company that helps employ former gang members and ex-convicts, expanded into the electronic recycling business.

"They help prep us here and we are better equipped and prepared to come back out in the job force and get a job," said X Cam, a participant in the program.

Homeboy Industries purchased Isidore Electronics Recycling, located just a few blocks away from the nonprofit's facilities.

"We're going out into the community with our trucks, bringing e-waste back to our warehouse over here in Chinatown," Kabira Stokes, CEO of Isidore Electronics Recycling, said. "We're basically trying to find the highest, best use for anything that we have there."

Stokes believes the operation could grow to employ more than 100 workers in the future. Computers, monitors and cellphones were among the items being recycled.

"Less than 30 percent of electronics are recycled. A lot of them are not responsibly recycled. We're trying to keep the electronics here as much as possible to create work and then make sure that it's properly disposed of," Stokes explained.

For many workers, the expansion has provided greater opportunities.

"Not having programs like this to help the formerly incarcerated would really be tough," Cam shared. "It's great to be a part of Homeboy now because of the stuff that they do and the help that they offer."