We also want to work with employers to develop fair and inclusive hiring practices. One example is how employers view individuals involved in justice once they have served their sentence, paid their debt to society, and focused on the desire to change their lives. Often, employers’ hiring practices prevent these people from entering the labor market.
Another issue is education and accreditation, where partnering with OneTen comes into play. work.
What kind of job would you like to see people get?
Some people say a job is a job. Our main goal is not to place people in jobs, but to put them on career paths. Because we recognize that to be self-sufficient, you need to have a career that has paths to advancement. We would like to hire people in manufacturing, banking, healthcare, technology — salaried positions with benefits.
What else should companies do to ensure employment equity?
Companies must pay a living wage. Too many people are among the working poor. We know that inflation is rising. The cost of living is rising. Yet wages are not increasing. When we go back and look at the last few months, especially in 2020, at the start of the “Great Resignation”, a large percentage of people leaving their jobs were looking for more income to better support their families.
Companies must also create pathways for advancement within their companies. This avoids dead-end jobs. Preparing and training employees to develop and improve their skills is another way companies are helping.
Systemic change is what will allow black and brown people to create generational wealth.
Could this pandemic lead to positive changes in employment patterns, or is it just making things worse for black and brown job seekers?
Let’s be clear, black and brown communities have been the hardest hit by the pandemic. According to data collected by Heartland Alliance, a member of the CBO collective, unemployment more than tripled for Latinx communities in Illinois from 2019 to 2020, to 12% and over 14% in black communities.
One positive thing that has come out of the pandemic is that more black people have become entrepreneurs. As the pandemic passes, will these numbers hold? Will they increase?
I am not sure. We hope that the work we do will play a role in increasing the number of black and brown people in self-directed careers. That’s why our partnership with OneTen is important. This helps us generate the resources and connections we need.