NewsBlack History Month


West Palm Beach business offers jobs to those with past convictions

Saffold Paving gives felons a second chance at employment
Posted at 5:11 PM, Feb 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-25 17:22:53-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — With the looming labor shortage, chances are you don’t have to look hard to find a new job. However, for those with a criminal history, it can still be a challenge.

Nestled along Tamarind Avenue in West Palm Beach is where you will find Saffold Paving, a company that goes beyond gravel and asphalt.

“I quit school and started running the streets and it went downhill from there,” said Superintendent Eberlee Therlonge.

“I was incarcerated for three and a half years,” said Foreman Anthony Sweetenburg.

The family-owned business prides itself on laying the foundation for a second chance.

“It hurts being away from my wife and kids it was hurting them. It was pandemic time so they stop the visits,” said Sweetenburg.

After spending time behind bars on a felony charge, Sweetenburg says it was his faith that led him here.

“I thank God for the man that had the money to give me the job,” he said.

And that man was Ezra Saffold, owner of Saffold Paving.

“I do it, because I want to make a difference,” he said.

Saffold said he's grateful not only for the opportunity to give felons a fresh start, but also access to the American dream.

“They can get a new house, they can get good credit ,they can get a good checking account,” he said. “So, if I’m in a position to make their lives a little better, I’m blessed to be able to do that.”

His only hope is that other companies will follow suit.

“I appreciate him. I appreciate this opportunity to better myself,” said Therlonge.

“We all do better once we make a mistake our second time around, we’re better for it, we learn our lesson," said Saffold, "and I think having a guy who’s learned their lesson will make a fabulous addition to any team.

Saffold paving has been around for more than 50 years and the company is still growing.

Right now, they have a handful of positions open. While experience is preferred, they are looking to give anyone a chance, as long as they are willing to work and learn.

For more information about Saffold Paving, click here.