A question-and-answer seminar at Advance Memphis’ offices at 769 Vance last week sought feedback from Memphians looking for work about what can be done to improve jobless rates for people living in the 38126 zip code area.
Advance Memphis works with people who wish to be employed but have past problems or past legal records that make it more unlikely they will be unable to find a job.
Many attendees expressed their feelings and ideas about what could be done to improve employment in Memphis. Some people observed that unemployment and past criminal behavior are linked, and discussed the value of reducing crime by opening more community centers. Others noticed that better communication among people who live together and work together in the community every day can lead to sharing information about organizations that are hiring.
Nefertiti Orrin, project coordinator in the Community Engagement and Alignment department for United Way, was one of the speakers who addressed the group.
“We have an economy right now that is still recovering. There are going to be summer jobs initiatives coming from Washington later this year. Government and nonprofits want to figure out the best ways to create opportunities for people ages 18-24 so that they can go to school, be successful, and create economic prosperity,” Orrin said.
United Way chapters across the nation are working with the White House Council to host community conversations like this one, where local leaders and citizens have opportunities to provide input and recommendations on creating stronger pathways to success for young adults ages 18 – 24. Several local nonprofits and other organizations are involved in these conversations, which are being conducted in different locations across the region. Information gathered through these conversations will be shared among United Ways, with local nonprofits and government leaders, and with the White House Council.