In today's economy, the normal and standard procedures to help people has changed. Historically, job service centers existed to assist people find a job. In an economy with job excess, it would be a perfect fit, but we are no longer in an ideal economy and the practices at workforce centers is no longer adequate. The philosophy of job service centers has been 'help a person get a job' for years. The mindset of these center workers is normally floating on that one plane of thinking.
America was built and remains strong because of our small business sector. Who creates the most jobs? Who produces the most paychecks? Who leads in innovation? Get my drift?
Starting with Welfare to Work legislation, the federal government finally woke up and began to allow 'entrepreneurial training' as an allowable activity to spend job training (workforce development) dollars on. Of course local policies had not been changed, so any localities that has detrimental procurement disparity due to cronyism, nepotism and a strong good ol' boy network will not benefit African Americans regardless of the DoL support and funding. Hope remains that local, state and regional policy makers will adjust their thinking and resources to ensure all Americans can have adequate access to needed resources that elevate their quality of like; not just a precious few and those with inside tracks to wealthy and noteable politicians.
Instead of going to(workforce centers) and looking everyday, every week, at computer screens for jobs, center staff need to realize that the source of income is not as important as its source. With so many people wanting to work, doing anything rather than sitting at home waiting for a call, government bodies should be promoting entrepreneurship as an alternative path towards 'self-sufficiency'. A term that got lost somewhere along the way by workforce development officials, workforce center staff and local government. A few give lip-service, but little constructive have come out of these conversations or efforts.
American Blacks are facing Depression-Era unemployment; which in itself creates a burden on local, state and national budgets. Taking care of those that can't get work due to race, discrimination (and no one can state these are not real impediments to upward mobility) could save taxpayers dollars, introduce more working age people into the workforce; which in turn produces more tax dollars to pay for the necessities our cities and states need. A good policy for structured entrepreneur support systems do not exist. SCORE, SBDCs, PTACs, and other Federal funded initiatives have apparently failed if such a large group is so unemployed that their living conditions are only a step up from the poverty conditions I saw in Soweto, South Africa.
Allowing local minority groups dedicated to the economic development of their inherent constituents is a lot better than funneling money into public agencies and the likes that normally do not live in, shop in, volunteer in minority communities and neighborhoods. Allowing others from wealthy and secure neighborhoods to micro-manage resource for stagnant communities and determine what they will get, if and when is why these communities stay in the conditions they are in; and have been in for over a decade or more. Where is the "Change We Can Believe In?"
Join us as we launch a new paradigm in minority business development and strategies.
If statistically significant disparity exists between your African American and Majority business populations, we want to help research, formulate and advocate for policies that will be good for your 'overall' community. The 'change' needed consists of breaking down the existing barriers that continue to hold people back; not to work to figure out how we can keep doing the same thing and producing different results. It won't work!
A nationalized effort is underway with minority-serving economic and community development agencies to take back control of our destiny; and to stop letting outsiders control and dictate what, when and if we will get access to the resources we need to grow our communities overall and our neighborhoods from the 'inside out'.
We must challenge ourselves to eradicate poverty, the conditions that give life to employment/procurement disparities, and this means we need to also change the discussion of helping Job Seekers find a job only, to helping people reach self-sufficiency through self employment. Then we can work on both tracks, utilizing the best program models existing and to be produced by the great minds here in America. Late last year we helped a person go into business and they landed a snow shoveling contract for an elderly housing company. Not only has he made more money in two months that he has over the last two years, but he also HIRED three people to help. Our next step is to help him secure the full property maintenance agreement to give longevity to his efforts.
This doesn't take rocket science ya'll.