DALLAS -- Michael Molthan looks like any other radio host. But what you can't see is his past.
"I have over 27 mugshots and bookings as a result of my disease of drug addiction and alcoholism," says Molthan, who discusses his struggles on a daily talk show on M2 The ROCK Radio 1190 AM.
He was able to find his way to sobriety and employment, neither of which was easy.
"Once [ex-convicts] check off that box that says 'felon' they know that their paper is going to be overlooked. And that's not okay."
Thankfully for ex-cons, getting work - and good work - has become easier. As unemployment has gone down nationwide and fewer people are looking for work, some businesses have been forced to loosen their hiring restrictions in order to fill still-open positions.
"There are pros and cons," says business strategist and Profit Experts CEO Fred Parrish, "[but] cons can be pros if they come in and really handle themselves appropriately, respond to the requirements of the job, and contribute to the success of the company."
Additionally, some states are trying to loosen laws to help those with a criminal past move toward a better future. Molthan has done his part first-hand, hiring people with checkered pasts to work for a home-building company he previously owned.
"They were great employees," he says. "They [have] the attitude, 'I am so grateful you're letting me work for you,' as opposed to coming in and going, 'You're lucky to have me.'"
Parrish advises not to shy away from your past if you do get a work opportunity.
"You want to be up front. You want to be honest, because if you want someone to take you as an upstanding, honest individual you can't start off by sugarcoating or hiding your background."
"There are a lot of men and women out there that are over-qualified for positions that are available," says Molthan. "What I challenge the employers to do is take a little extra time [to interview them]. There are a lot of diamonds out there."
And if they've done their time and deserve a shot, why not give them a chance to shine?