Cover of Madison Magazine's January 2021 issue with a nurse wearing a face shield and mask

Innovation is a monthly column in Madison Magazine covering startups, entrepreneurism, and innovative ideas coming out of Dane County, Wisconsin.

Other Recent Articles

When Safer at Home Isn’t

When Safer at Home Isn’t

Dear Sully

Dear Sully

No Time To Waste

No Time To Waste

Small Businesses Are Now Hiring Apprentices. Should You?

Small Businesses Are Now Hiring Apprentices. Should You?

Dunkin Donuts #1 Franchise 500 Entrepreneur

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Live Your Best Life 12 Resolutions To Make This Your Best Year Yet

Live Your Best Life 12 Resolutions To Make This Your Best Year Yet

There’s a Skilled Trade Labor Shortage – Can We Fix It?

There’s a Skilled Trade Labor Shortage – Can We Fix It?

You Don’t Need to Leave Your Hometown to Start a Great Business

You Don’t Need to Leave Your Hometown to Start a Great Business

What Nurses Know About Opioids

What Nurses Know About Opioids

Transgender Youth Health

Transgender Youth Health

Campus Sexual Assault

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Nursing Behind Bars

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Soldiering On

Soldiering On

Muslim in Madison

Muslim in Madison

Out of the Shadows: Undocumented Latino Immigrants in Madison

Out of the Shadows: Undocumented Latino Immigrants in Madison

Profile John Gottman, UW-Madison alum and renowned relationship expert

Profile John Gottman, UW-Madison alum and renowned relationship expert

UW-Madison’s storied Gender and Women’s Studies Department celebrates 40 years

UW-Madison’s storied Gender and Women’s Studies Department celebrates 40 years

Homelessness in Madison, Wisconsin

Homelessness in Madison, Wisconsin

The Whitehorse Ho Chunk Family Story

The Whitehorse Ho Chunk Family Story

UW-Madison Law School Responds to the Tony Robinson Shooting

UW-Madison Law School Responds to the Tony Robinson Shooting

Collegiate Recovery in Madison

Collegiate Recovery in Madison

Madison Mothers React to Tony Robinson Shooting

Madison Mothers React to Tony Robinson Shooting

Wheeling and Dealing

Wheeling and Dealing

Community Response to the Heroin Epidemic in Dane County

Community Response to the Heroin Epidemic in Dane County

Lilada Gee and African-American Sexual Abuse Survivors

Lilada Gee and African-American Sexual Abuse Survivors

The Way Out

Startup aims to create meaningful employment after incarceration.

Madison Magazine monthly Innovation column, October 2020

Magazine opened to page with article called When Safer at Home Isn't

After Ruben Gaona paid his debt to society, he was ready to work. Thirteen days after his release from federal prison for drug-related crimes, the U.S. Navy veteran applied for a nearly $20-per-hour job as a case manager for a workforce development company. Its operations manager said his skills and experience made him a great fit, and he was sent to the staffing agency that handled all company hires. It was supposed to be a formality, but when the agency recruiter learned of Gaona’s criminal record, she suddenly told him that job had a one-year waitlist and offered him a $7.50-per-hour janitorial position instead. “My kid’s working at Taco Bell — he makes $9.50 per hour, and I’ve got to go home and take care of him still,” Gaona recalls. “I got into the car and started crying.”

To continue reading please pick up the October 2020 issue of Madison Magazine at area newsstands, or click through to the online version here.

—Maggie Ginsberg is an associate editor at Madison Magazine and a long-time award-winning freelance writer. Innovation is her monthly column for Madison Magazine focused on startups, entrepreneurism and innovative ideas coming out of Dane County, Wisconsin.

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