A successful fitness entrepreneur recently launched his own nonprofit organization to train and prepare ex-convicts for employment as personal trainers in the thriving fitness industry.
“I spent 10 years in federal prison and spent most of my time there in the gym,” said Hector Guadalupe, founder of Unibody Fitness. “When I left, I had to decide what to do for my career. I became a certified personal trainer and immediately found employment in a New York City Sports Club.”
The unemployment rate for formerly incarcerated people is eight times higher than the average person, according to an AlleyWatch article. Unibody is trying to improve those statistics one personal trainer at a time.
After five years of working in the fitness community, Guadalupe started New York-based Unibody, along with its nonprofit branch, A Second U.
“Through job creation and the cultivation of a community, Unibody Fitness helps to reduce recidivism and improve morale post incarceration,” Guadalupe stated. “We have employed close to 70 formerly incarcerated individuals in our first two years, which is more than most New York City businesses can say.
“We have personal training directors, recruiters and fitness managers all over New York City seeking to hire our trainers.”
Guadalupe estimates the U.S. fitness market as a $30 billion industry with plenty of room for growth and upward mobility. Within this burgeoning network, A Second U provides support and resources to help soften the challenging reentry from incarceration to the societal workplace.
Guadalupe said his goal within the next six months is “to raise additional funding for A Second U so that we can expand to every major city throughout the country with a high recidivism rate and a strong market for fitness.”
“I’d love to be in touch with Jay-Z, who is committed to exposing the injustices of the prison system,” he added. He said he has “a lot to discuss” with the cultural icon.