The needler in the haystack.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mayor Sharon's job fair? What job fair?


Everyone is in agreement that one of the cornerstones of dealing with youth violence and gang activity in Plainfield is to provide jobs for our young people and those who need to find a way to re-enter society as productive and contributing members after involvement with the criminal justice system.

In that vein, Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs said she was setting up a citywide job fair for June 15.

As the Courier's Mark Spivey reported on May 26th (see here) --

...[t]he mayor also said she is in the process of reaching out to local companies willing to hire employees with criminal histories as part of an outreach program to impoverished city neighborhoods.

A citywide job fair expected to be attended by representatives of some of those companies is slated for June 15, and Robinson-Briggs said the city also is purchasing a van and acquiring free bus vouchers to help transport workers to and from job sites.


“We hope to be able to locate and identify jobs for as many people as possible,” Robinson-Briggs said. “They (employers) will be flexible, because everyone deserves a second chance.”
So, June 15th, right?

Checking the city's website, I found no notice of the Job Fair, nor could I find anything on the Courier's website (other than the original story).

Union County Workforce Investment Board? The person answering the phone was somewhat perplexed, put me on hold, and returned to say that no one there knew of a job fair in Plainfield, and that the only event statewide for the 15th was retail training at the Jersey Gardens Mall (the other end of the County from Plainfield).

She did, however, refer me to the Plainfield One-Stop number. No luck there, either; they were kind but perplexed, seeming somewhat caught off guard that a job fair would be slated for Plainfield that they would not be included in.

So, I'm curious.

Did Mayor Robinson-Briggs find there were NO LOCAL COMPANIES willing to give former offenders a chance to get into the job market?

Did she find that there simply are NO JOBS AVAILABLE?

Or did she FORGET her promise altogether?

And the van? And the bus vouchers?

How will our young people be helped without some sort of follow-through, some sort of accountability?





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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was wondering the same thing. More promises and absolutely no deliverables.

Rob said...

Dan.... HELLO !! June 15th...OF WHAT YEAR ??? Pretty damn presumptuous to assume that she meant THIS YEAR!

Anonymous said...

You cannot be serious that you are surprised that the mayor could not pull this off.

In order to have this event be successful you have to have someone who has the following skills:
Organization
Leadership
Visionary

Would you put any of those words and the mayor in the same sentence (except for the word NOT in front of them).

So sad. This mayor is ruining our city.

Olive said...

Dan --

In this job market, I would expect she found no jobs.

People just out of college can't find jobs.

People laid off with years and years of experience and skills have been out of work for 1-2-3 years.

It's an employer's market -- they can look through all the candidates and pick the best for them. It's a reality.

If there are no jobs, then I think these young people should do volunteeer work to build their resumes. They could work on beautification, help in offices, help non-profits. They'd gain marketable skills and get something on their resume showing they did something productive.

That I think would be doable, something the city could coordinate, and would position these young people in a better light to potential employers when the economy opens up.

When I get my business up and running, I definitely will be looking to hire Plainfield young people (as well as older people too!). I believe in giving people an opportunity. It's up to all of us to prove ourselves to stay employed and earn our what we have.

GB said...

The sad fact is that there are plenty of working opportunities, but few places will pay you $$ to do it. Help an elderly person clean out their garage, plenty to talk about but again no money, but maybe the next time ....

Bill said...

Dan, did you see this?

http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2011/06/15/n_foreclosure_town_nj.cnnmoney/

Dan said...

Bill -- Thanks, seems plenty of folks caught the piece as it ran. see my Friday story.