You have probably heard of Eddie Grinnell from the previous article on Priority Hire. Eddie is the Outreach Promoter for Priority Hire, he started in 2015 or 2016, so he has been at it for about five years now.
Eddie’s favorite part of this work is the outreach–the promotional side of it. He enjoys showing people what they can do, and seeing the end result of people doing it. His biggest hope is getting people of color into the construction trade, taking on leadership roles, becoming journeymen, becoming heads of unions, and apprenticeship teachers.
What he likes about being with Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC) is feeling connected with the RBAC family after he had been doing his own thing for a while. One of his favorite moments at RBAC was receiving the Community Pillar Award for outstanding service and dedication to the neighborhood.
Eddie grew up in the Central District of Seattle, Washington (The CD). One of his favorite parts of growing up there was the community. “Back then it was more of a family/community. Someone knew someone in your family regardless. Wherever you were you knew somebody who lived on every single street. Now you go over there, you don’t know anybody in any of the houses. It was more family. Growing up we didn’t have phones and stuff so you never knew where your friends were but you ended up with them because you know where your guys did their thing.”
In his spare time, Eddie enjoys cooking; it’s his stress reliever that takes his mind away from things; it’s a form of therapy for him. His favorite thing to cook is chicken and soul food. In the future, he sees himself owning a food truck and working for himself.
“I have been through a lot, but I’ve never let it stop me from what I want to accomplish in life. I don’t know what I’ll fully accomplish, but from what I have been through I know I shouldn’t be as happy as I am. I should be dead, crazy, or in the penitentiary.”
Eddie first found out about the outreach position at RBAC directly from Mr. Gregory Davis, RBAC’s Managing Strategist. Getting off the bus near where he lived near Rose St, Eddie saw one of the corner greeter operations there. He stopped and spoke with Mr. Davis who asked him what kind of work he had been doing. Eddie remembers Mr. Davis saying that he had something Eddie might be interested in he might be good for, because he had a magnetic personality and knew a lot of people.
Each year Eddie’s position gets more organized, and he has more responsibilities that come along with the job. He needs to update the databases and a whole lot of other stuff he wasn’t accustomed to doing previously–even though he hadn’t done much work on the computer previously. His last job was working for Charlie’s Produce.
Eddie’s favorite restaurant is Godfather’s Pizza, and he’ll drive all the way to Spanaway to get it.
In his spare time, Eddie likes to play sports and dominoes. “That’s what I and my buddies do a lot. Start playing cards or some spades or something…”