Cheri and Hustlers

Our Story

Cornbread Hustle is a staffing agency for second chances.

Our mission is to unite people returning from incarceration and those in recovery with employers ready to give them a fresh start.

How it Started

Benny and Cheri in March 2016
Benny, the first Cornbread Hustle employee, with Cheri in March 2016

Cheri Garcia, a Dallas entrepreneur, first started working with people in prison in the 2010s. She recognized enormous potential for success in many of these men and women once they returned to society.

When formerly-incarcerated people reached out to Cheri after their release from prison, many said they still needed help getting their ideas off the ground – or even just getting a job. This sparked the idea that became Cornbread Hustle.

In March 2016, Cheri helped our first employee, Benny, find a job as a mural artist. Today, Benny has a career in the energy industry, and is able to provide for his family in ways he never could have imagined when he was sitting in a prison cell.

Recognizing an Unmet Need

The justice system did not prepare Benny for life after prison. He spent most of his adult life incarcerated, and found much of the modern world to be unfamiliar. He’d never used the internet, and he didn’t know how to search for jobs on Google. In short, Benny was set up to fail.

When many formerly incarcerated people find themselves in a similar situation, they return to what they know: crime and addiction. Most will end up back in prison; three out of four will be arrested again within five years. This recidivism has a catastrophic affect on the futures of these men and women and their families, and costs taxpayers untold billions of dollars every year.

Cheri created Cornbread Hustle to break the cycle of recidivism by helping formerly-incarcerated people find good jobs. This means partnering with employers who recognize the value of second-chance hiring, to ensure jobs for all skill levels, and paying competitive, meaningful wages.

How It’s Going

Cornbread Hustle receiving the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Social Innovator of the Year Award in April 2021

Today, Cornbread Hustle is recognized nationwide as the leader in second-chance staffing and recruiting. We have placed thousands of people in jobs around the United States, ranging from entry level and general labor to six-figure management and highly-skilled workers.

In April 2021, Cornbread Hustle was recognized by United Way of Metropolitan Dallas as its Social Innovator of the Year. This prestigious award is given to companies and organizations that are making a powerful and positive difference in their communities. In addition, Cornbread Hustle received the Innovation Award, Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, Presentation Award, and Impact award, taking five of the six categories at the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas “The Pitch” competition.

Cornbread Hustle continues its innovations in second-chance hiring through its creation of The 12-Week Starting Over Program, an interactive video course for self-improvement and reflection. The program is now offered in prisons nationwide, at no cost to prison residents or their families. In 2024, we completed months of independent research to produce an exclusive report on second-chance hiring, which you can download here, for free.