Hello Rainier Beach,
There is a program at the City of Seattle that got created and funded because the community came together with a great idea, good people, great organizing and effective advocacy. It’s called Priority Hire. The community called it Targeted Local Hire. Its a strategy to get folk from low employment, low income zip codes jobs in the booming construction industry currently existing in the King County region, I am sure you have heard of it – if not google it. Note: The City of Seattle can only enforce Priority Hire on City of Seattle projects and these projects must be $5 million and above which means about 2-3 construction projects per year, meaning 98% of those cranes out there that you see, the City of Seattle cannot enforce Priority Hire there. Dang!, ain’t that messed up?!
Anyway my intentions here is to speak more about RBAC getting a call from a young man (picture above), interested in getting into that construction industry. He recently graduated from PACT (Pre-apprenticeship Construction Training) program run by SVI (Seattle Vocational Institute) out of the Wood Technology Center located in Africa Town (Central District). The call was for support services to assist him with his transportation needs. The job HE FOUND HIMSELF required being at different locations throughout the county a few times during the week. He has the training, he has the work ethic, he has the skills, he needed $250 to get his vehicle road ready. $250 between him and work. He didn’t have it as he just finished an 11 week unpaid pre-apprenticeship training. Turns out RBAC has a support services fund through the contract we were awarded by the City of Seattle to outreach, assess, refer and place folk from priority zip codes (98118, 98122, 98178, 98168 etc.) into pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship opportunities. We could help him , thanks to the City of Seattle and we did. In fact over the last 2 1/2 years RBAC as assessed over 200 people and referred 130 to pre-apprenticeship training. Our specialty is African American males as we have staff doing the outreach and assessments and referrals who are knowledgeable about that demographic and committed to helping provide opportunity to it. Just want you to know some of what RBAC is doing. See you in the neighborhood.
Written By: Gregory Davis