The Truth About Second Chances

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Ingrained in our American values is a belief that we are a country of and for second chances; however, in many instances, our government does not follow that creed.  Ex-offenders who have completed their sentences are commonly at a disadvantage in the workforce, and that disadvantage also extends to the government contractors who do believe in giving second chances.

As a government contracted roofing company, RYCARS Construction is required to submit the names of all potential workers on federal and state projects for background screening.  At RYCARS, we have chosen to give a second chance to several ex-offenders; we provide them with the construction skills and safety training that they can use to build a new life and career.  Most of these workers have completed parole requirements and haven’t been in any trouble for over a decade, yet they are still denied an opportunity to work on projects for our own government.  

While working at federal and state correctional facilities, all RYCARS team members are escorted and monitored 100% of the time by armed guards.  Additionally, as a roofer, RYCARS only works on the exteriors of these buildings.  Under these circumstances and with such tight security measures in place, why would the government make access to working so extremely difficult for a person that has paid his debt to society?  This type of policy and negative treatment results in a situation where contractors can’t use some of their best and most highly qualified employees on projects.  Efficiency is lost, and the construction cost to the government is elevated. This is the ultimate lose-lose scenario. 

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Federal contractors like RYCARS need an advocate with the moxie to push for a win-win scenario.  Giving opportunities to work to those who want to work positively affects the economy, increases employment, provides job training, decreases construction cost to the government, and ultimately reduces the crime and the recidivism rates.  At RYCARS, we believe advocacy on this matter would not only be in line with American values—it would add value to the government and society at large.



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Ryan E. Burks is a man with a life mission to bestow a legacy of discipline, hard work and perseverance in the areas of Faith, Family and Business.  Mr. Burks lives by the following creed: “Success is not an Accident. Success in life is directly proportional to the level of sacrifice made to achieve the desired success level.” After graduating from Tulane University with a degree in Civil Engineering, he launched his professional career as a design engineer in Atlanta, Georgia where he worked on projects for the 1996 Olympic Games.  Mr. Burks later advanced to be a Project Manager, Construction Manager and Operations Manager for various construction firms in Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Louisiana before founding RYCARS Construction, LLC. RYCARS stands for the family members of President and CEO, Ryan E. Burks (RYan Caleb Arielle Ryan Stephanie). 

RYCARS Construction, LLC is a regional specialty contractor with a core competency in commercial roofing applications.  Its mission is to provide excellent, professional construction services specifically related to the building envelope integrity. Since March of 2002, Mr. Burks has led RYCARS Construction, LLC in completing over $125 million in commercial roofing and construction projects for over 80 different customers, in multiple types of facilities such as healthcare, multi-family, institutional, hotel, water treatment facilities and military bases.  RYCARS has performed successfully on projects in ten (10) states:  Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Virginia.  The company has completed high profile projects such as the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans and NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.


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