Image of felons interviewing and a GM car with the caption "Does GM Hire Felons."

General Motors is a “a global team of diverse and talented people—from creative design to engineering and software development to manufacturing to marketing and finance.” Sounds like a pleasant enough place to work, with lots of opportunities for an ex-convict, doesn’t it? Mmm, maybe.

As one of the largest automotive manufacturer in history (they’ve been doing this since 1908!) GM is a solid firm with an established reputation for (usually) producing high-quality automobiles. Okay, yes they did go bankrupt a few years back, and reformed as the General Motors Company. But it’s still GM!

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Does GM Hire Felons?

From Buicks, Cadillacs, Chevrolet, GMC, and formerly Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Hummer, and Saab, the GM family of cars and trucks can be found all over the globe. But when it comes to working for them, they can be picky. So, does GM hire felons? Let’s see!

GM Labor Jobs (Factory, Assembly Line & Warehousing)

Most assembly and labor jobs at GM (General Motors) are union jobs, specifically UAW (United Auto Workers Union). This is excellent for felons and people with criminal records since the UAW will hire felons. GM can not hire for any labor positions directly, they must go through the union for any labor positions. So yes, GM hires felons for labor positions.

Job Areas with General Motors

General Motors (GM) careers cover four broad areas, according to their website: Business, Manufacturing, Technical, and Internships.

GM Business Careers

Business covers the widest spectrum, with careers in: administration, communication, mergers and acquisitions, finance, customer care, global supply chain and purchasing, legal, human resources, policy, sales and marketing…phew, the list keeps going on and on! Some of these areas are going to be hard to get if you have a felony conviction on file.

GM Technical Jobs

GM Technical jobs will often require a university degree and include creative design, engineering, IT, and research and development. If you have the credentials, a felony may not hold you back, but it depends on the details of the conviction.

GM Manufacturing Jobs

Manufacturing breaks down into “hourly jobs,” which are essentially production floor positions utilizing skilled labor to manufacture. Remember these jobs are through the UAW and open to some felons. These are going to be your fast-paced work areas, where one works in tandem with a team and/or with a bunch of high-tech industrial robots. When you’re building a car, precision counts so these are not the types of jobs where there’s much room for error.

But if you have a knack for performing attention-to-detail work, and don’t mind busting your bottom for a decent wage, then production might be a great fit for you. A felony conviction is less likely to stop you from getting these jobs, however it really depends on what you did and how much rehabilitation you can show to the hiring manager.

Alternatives which still fall under the manufacturing umbrella include quality, and, oddly, “Manufacturing,” which their site describes as working with, “Alternative fuel systems. Advanced safety features. Improved performance. Elegant design.” If that’s too vague, specific areas include: Lean Body Integration, Design Release, Performance, and Engine Materials. We won’t go too much into detail on all of these.

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Locations of GM Assembly and Manufacturing Plants in the US

GM has numerous factories all over the world and United States.

  • Arlington, Texas
  • White Marsh, Maryland
  • Bay City, Michigan
  • Bedford, Indiana
  • Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • Defiance, Ohio
  • Sandusky, Ohio
  • Anderson, Indiana
  • Muncie Indiana
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Kansas City, Missori
  • Flint, Michigain
  • Roanoke, Indiana
  • Lansing, Michigan
  • Lordstown, Ohio
  • Towanda, New York

The GM Hiring Process

No, GM doesn’t come right out and say they won’t hire you if you have a felon conviction. Few companies do! The fact is, they must follow the same federal hiring guidelines as anyone else. But to read up on the GM specific hiring process, check out their hiring page which outlines the specifics. But remember that the UAW will hire felons for labor positions within GM. 

Don’t expect a speedy process, though. For a car company, they are pretty slow when it comes to hiring – about 6 to 8 weeks from application to being offered a job. Keep in mind, though, General Motors employees 225,000 people, so the opportunities are massive. This is a great company to get into, if you have the time and patience to apply and wait. We’d recommend applying for GM, specifically UAW positions, while you already have an existing job, though…two months is a long time to hold your breath!

Felony Expungement – In a number of states it is possible to have your felony conviction either expunged or sealed. Imagine having your record swiped clean! Learn more here.
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Background Check Limits and GM

It is important to understand that some states have laws regarding how far back a criminal background check can go. This can be a good thing for some felons depending on what state you reside in, or rather apply in. Here are the laws.

Twelve states do not allow any felony conviction information older than seven years to be reported.

  • California
  • Colorado*
  • Kansas*
  • Maryland*
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire*
  • New York *
  • Texas *
  • Washington*

(* exceptions based on pay/salary)

Some states will not report court cases where you were found NOT guilty: Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Alaska, California, New York and Michigan.

These states will report unlimited numbers of years back of felony convictions and also report NOT guilty verdicts: Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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