Clarence Bethea – Productive Day Programs
By: Jim McAllister, Corrections Supervisor/OWDS Hennepin County, MN
Clarence Bethea was booked into the medium security Men’s section of the Hennepin County Adult Correctional Facility on September 16, 2005.
Before his release on February 25, 2006, Clarence set into motion a plan and commitment to never return to jail. His plan included finding a number of positive people for support, taking advantage of the programming offered at the facility and making a commitment to change.
The determination and level of Clarence’s commitment to change was seen every day in the facility as Clarence made the most of every opportunity available to him including the Industry Program, Private Sector Work Program and Work Release Program. Toward the end of his sentence Clarence was moved to the minimum security Work Release building to start a new job and a new life.
Clarence has maintained a connection to the facility and has worked non-stop since his release to create opportunities for others who have found themselves in the same situation as he once did. Please see the rest of Clarence’s story below.
As Founder and Chief Executive Officer of 2nd Chance Enterprises, Mr. Bethea serves as an inspiration and symbol of hope to countless individuals, from ex-offenders striving for change, to CEOs of Fortune 100 corporations. Motivated by his own experience as a troubled youth and having overcome the stigma of incarceration, Clarence founded 2nd Chance Enterprises to provide dynamic and vital solutions for ex-offenders, corporations of all sizes, and entire communities.
After attending Bemidji State University on a basketball scholarship, Mr. Bethea secured employment as a driver with a trucking company in Eagan, Minnesota. His dedication and strong work ethic were immediately apparent. He consistently took on greater responsibility, and by the following year, he had assumed a lead managerial role within the company. In 2007, Clarence pursued one of his life’s passions, and joined a prestigious local basketball academy. As the lead sales person at the academy, he generated revenue in excess of $1,500,000 in less than three years.
With a veteran entrepreneurial spirit, Mr. Bethea began to explore the concepts of integrating ex-offenders into the work force via meaningful employment with established, successful companies, as well as providing ex-offenders with professional education and constructive tools for change. Utilizing strong connections in the community, the corrections industry, and with high-profile corporate mentors, Clarence’s commitment to connecting ex-offenders with companies that recognize the benefits of employing them and providing opportunities resulted in the solidification of the 2nd Chance Enterprises business model. The young company quickly earned numerous accolades, including being the only staffing agency named as a semi-finalist in the University of Minnesota’s 2009 Minnesota Cup Award.
In addition to his professional endeavors and accomplishments, Mr. Bethea is a prominent and active citizen of his local community. He maintains a demanding schedule of speaking engagements and consultations with business and public leaders concerning the support for and mutually beneficial roles of ex-offenders in the community. As an avid basketball enthusiast, Clarence also coaches some of the state’s most talented young athletes in the elite youth basketball program, Minnesota Pump ‘n Run. Clarence lives in Burnsville, Minnesota with his wife, Jennifer, and their dog, Jersey.