Jobs for refugees, and volunteering to work
Paul Grondahl at the Times Union has a piece up about a band of refugees who've joined forces to create their own work, in the absence of other job opportunities:
What they lack in English language skills and a nuanced knowledge of their adopted culture they hope to overcome with an eagerness to do other people's dirty work and a desire to labor diligently at tasks some consider menial. "We really want to work. We have good hearts," said Thaw Tar, 20, of Burma, who fled his embattled country, also known as Myanmar, and was resettled in Rensselaer two years ago with his parents and sister through assistance from the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.
International cotton shortages have left a textile firm that supplies jobs to people with developmental disabilities at risk of not delivering on a federal contract. Debra Groom at the Post-Standard reports:
The textile division has a contract with the U.S. government’s Defense Supply Center in Philadelphia to make 10,000 all-cotton coveralls for use in all branches of the military. Oswego Industries has made 8,000 pairs of coveralls so far. [Oswego Industries business development director Leo] Waite said the workshop is having quality issues with some of the remaining fabric and may have to order more to complete the order. Waite said the price for cotton fabric was $2 a square yard when the company bid the coveralls project in late 2009. Its bid to the government estimated fabric at $3.50 a square yard. Six weeks ago, Waite received a quote of $4.25 a square yard.
Volunteering to create jobs
Some of the unemployed in Buffalo are still putting in hours at the Urban Diner, where they provide meals to the poor and complete requirements to conduct community service in exchange for public benefits. Janice Habuda at the Buffalo News reports:
“I can put this on my resume,” said [worker Tasha] Moore, who said she arrives hours before the scheduled service to complete meals supplied by Friends of Night People, a West Side charitable organization. “I already like to cook,” said Simmons. “I want to work in a restaurant, if I could.” Program participants pursuing a general equivalency diploma or certification in job readiness spend 15 to 20 hours a week in classrooms at the Urban Human Services Center at 1081 Broadway. “What you put in is what you get out,” Peter Evaldi, an instructor from the Buffalo Public Schools, said as he wrapped up a recent algebra lesson for GED students.
Vincent Sherry at the Buffalo News also has a profile of a unique type of job creation. "SCORE" is made up of retired executives and other business pros who volunteer to train prospective entrepreneurs and small business owners. The group is ambitious - they're hoping to create 1 million new businesses by 2017:
The Buffalo Niagara chapter, one of 364, has played a key role in effecting that change, and Yancey believes it has the potential to be a growth site under the new plan. The 59-member group, which has been helping area businesses for more than 35 years, was a test site for a new mentorship program to foster closer, longer-lasting relationships, and a new communication system to offer distance counseling from people with a specific expertise. That counseling can take place on the Web with tools like Skype, a video phone service. There will also be a mobile application that allows users to search for resources on phones and other devices.
Drawing on $2.4 million in cash from Empire State Development and a Community Development Block Grant, Remington Arms is relocating 100 jobs from its Connecticut plant to one in Ilion, N.Y., reports Rob Juteau at GateHouse News Service.
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