Monday, June 27, 2011

Green Jobs: The Center for Urban Micro Enterprise

Here's The Plain Truth - We know that the new DC has no place for the hard working, under educated residents of our neighborhoods and communities.  The city of large institutions (Universities, Hospitals, and Gov't Agencies and Departments) will never again employ the throngs of low-skilled workers as it once did.   What recourse do we have to provide gainful and meaningful employment for citizens?  We are not sending all them to UDC ... trust me.  They are NOT going back to school.  What then, can we do to build opportunity?

Here's What We CAN Do - We can train them ... train them to operate and run their own profitable small businesses.   The time for education has past them by... but training is always an option.  This small growing business can become the cornerstone of a revitalization of the communities in which it exists.  Micro enterprise has helped rekindle commerce in the slums of India and the villages of Africa.  It can and will work here.  

Enter the Micro Franchise - Traditional small businesses have a 40% failure rate after two years.  However, if the business is part of a franchise then the rate drops dramatically to only 7%.  That's because a franchise is documented and training intensive.  It is standard operating procedure driven..  The plain truth is: The Franchise Model Works.  This is sustainable economic development.  This is an opportunity driven American solution.

The National Center for Urban Micro Enterprise
We need to establish a fund and an implementation strategy based upon a training (not education) model.  We need to establish the DC Sustainable Economic Initiative Fund.  We need to create The National Center for Urban Micro Enterprise.  We need to seriously foster a viral infestation of small growing businesses that are owned and operated by the people in the  neighborhoods.  How we do that and what businesses will work are legitimate questions that will be answered in the next blog... stay tuned DC.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Training? Eduction? For What? Find The Jobs First!

FIRST, Let's stop lying to the people of this city.  I mean those who live in the real DC.  The DC of Ivy City, of Trinidad and Anacostia of Wards 7 and 8.  Here's my take on the priorities of DOES and the of non profit alliance who maintain their lifestyles by training people for this "no decent jobs" environment.  There is an organization called putatively, The DC Jobs Council.  It has little to do about new jobs. It is in fact an association of non profits who provide so called job training for the unemployed here in the district.  Mostly, in my opinion, they train people for jobs that do not exist.  The DC Jobs Council is essentially a trade association that seeks the interest of those who earn their respective livings (and jobs) training people for low paying, food stamp and medicare subsidized jobs.

SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN DC HAVE FAILED!  Though a product of, and an advocate for education as a concept - at the secondary level, at least or DC, education has largely been a bust. We have lost the war for the hearts and minds of many if not most of our teenagers here in DC.  The metriculation rate, if you get the real numbers ...? around 50% ,,, half of our inner city kids make it. ... if we use jobs as a measure? The unemployment rate for high school grads and non-grads being only onepercent apart (19vs20% respectively. The value of a high school
education to a job seeker here in DC (unless one seeks post secondary advancement) is zero, zilch, nada!

The structural problems of the neighborhoods resulting, at least in part, from the palpable failure of primary and secondary education Will NOT be solved by any intervention that uses traditional education as abase strategy.

I realize that there are no simple answers and I do not have a
comprehensive solution but there seems to be no one out there

THIS I BELIEVE ...The focus should not be on jobs training but jobs CREATION. Find the jobs! Create an incentive for employers to come! Guarantee them trained workers by training for the specific jobs. Usehigh tech potable training facilities that can be moved from site to site.  Use journey level trained instructors.  Honda did it in Ohio...and with illiterate workers.

I would switch the PRIMRY focus from GENERAL education to technical english and general arithmetic (so people canread and comprehend manuals and instructional media) Also ... teachremedial math using mediated individualized instruction (validated computer based training) I would stop all non-specific job training and place the responsibility on employers to train on demand, eliminating the need for any level of education to be required.  How many people are being "educated" for jobs that DO NOT exist (not jobs that require the
employee to apply for food stamps)

I question the fundamental value of a system of jobs training that isdedicated to produce an underclass of people who will live in subsidized servitude as the flotsam of the late information age.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

First Source, What's Next ...?

Where Are The NEW Jobs?

The National Capital Jobs Coalition has largely achieved its first objective of establishing a First Source Law that will improve the number of construction industry jobs available to District residents..  The amendment to the original law will close the major loopholes and provide reasonable enforcement provisions.  The law could be improved and we will continue to work to improve it, but we must now turn ourselves to our second objectives of NCJC;  The creation of new green jobs. 

The Jobs Are All Gone
It is time to stop lying to the people of DC.  It is time to stop promising what you cannot deliver.  Do not be deceived by the hollow promises of the politicians and those who profit from training people for jobs that do not exist.  There are no d ecent paying green jobs with a future.  Why, because they simply do not exist.  It is time to stop the charade. 

Years ago The Federal Government and the large institutions, Universities, Hospitals and others no longer will hire the large numbers of hard-working, low-skilled citizens of the neighborhoods of this city.  Automation and the out sourcing of jobs to contractors has largely eliminated gainful employment for our residents.  There are two DC’s.  The DC of large institutions where one needs a masters degree to be a file clerk. Then there is the DC of Ivy City, Trinidad, the DC of 30% unemployment and higher illiteracy rates.

The Old Jobs Are Gone
DC must diversify its commercial base.  There are no factories coming to Anacostia.  There is no Silicaon Valley ready to spring into being in Trinidad. 
DC cannot look to the past to find the future.  We need to look to innovative and creative means to bring these new green industries to our city.  We are actively engaged in this process.  We see two exciting possibilities.  One is Urban Farming and the other Commercial Energy Conservation.  We will address both of these in future blogs.

Friday, June 10, 2011

NCJC Position on First Source Amendment

A Law With Teeth - It is also of merit to note that when legislators intend for a law to be enforced, they include both the specific regulation, substantive penalties for infractions, and the funds to implement all elements of the law and the regulations.  Let  us hope that this will be the case here.

Here's What's Needed - One, there should be a First Source Officer who is a single point of contact for all questions and documentation.  That person should be personally liable for the accuracy and validity of all data supplied in reference to the law.  This is not without precedent.  The GMP’s (good manufacturing practices) regulations call for personal responsibility AND criminal penalties for failure to adhere.

Visual Display by Prime Contractor - We also feel strongly about visible displays.  I suggest that a graphic sign equal in size and visibility to the contractor and prime be co located in a prominent place visible to the public. 

The sign should display:  The name of the prime contractor and major sub contractors on the sight.  The sign also should contain t he following:  1) The name of the First Source Officer along with contact information.  2) The number of all trades and laborers working on the site.  3) The number of trades and laborers who live in DC.  3) The percentages of labor hours required by First Source and the average percentages of hours worked by category over the previous reporting perion (month, quarter, etc)  At the bottom.  These should be adjacent to each other for easy comparison.  Finally, there should be  a tally board and back up documentation should be maintained by the First Source Officer at his desk on the site.  This board should be kept updated (with penalties for failing to do so) and available on demand by any person or organization with standing.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Co Director Peloquin Addresses Green Statehood Party General Meeting

A Meaningful Intellectual Dialog and a Progressive Agenda

We spoke at UDC Law School to a group of around thirty or so party members including David Schwartzman, former party candidate for DC City Council noted activists Michelle and Richard Clemmons among others.  We put forth the NCJC Mission and objectives of a revitalized and effective First Source law along with the pressing, even desperate need for decent and just new green jobs for the district.   Jobs being the key to an economic rebirth for our city.

NCJC was asked to address the First Source law and the proposed amendment.  We noted the improvements in the law and made known our suggestions for further enhancing the potential for an effective implementation and enforcement plan.  Other speakers addressed the issue of:  Wage Theft, a disgusting and growing problem and eliminating the blanket discrimination against returning citizens without cause or purpose.

I was generally impressed by the serious nature of those present.  The progressive agenda and the overall quality of the intellectual discourse.  I think we should consider engaging here.  It will be an opportunity for us to extend our vision and to link with those who would become our allies.