Chronic unemployment among black males is hovering at 50% according to Columbia Professor Dr. Manning Marable. Chronic unemployment among white males is 20% according to author Charles Murray. The problem continues to escalate, yet politicians merely rehash the same failed policies in their attempts to address it.
The catch-22 that no one has addressed is how to hire someone with no on-the-job experience when no one will give them the on-the-job experience necessary. Workers from these communities need not only training, but on-the-job experience. Understandably contractors prefer to hire experienced tradesmen, but without a program to incorporate disadvantaged workers, chronic unemployment will balloon and strain society even more. This is why we support apprenticeships that pay a prevailing wage, allowing workers to support themselves.
But to convince employers, or contractors, to meet their equal opportunity requirements by taking on apprentices, contractors must receive some type of guarantee that these workers will perform the job well and on-time. This is why Economic Cornerstone works with the Oriska Jobs and Careers Center to train the workers, contractors to employ apprentices and certain private sector companies to bond and mentor the projects. It is the only proven way to ensure disadvantaged workers can become engaged, contributing and successful members of society. It is the only way to successfully address the problem of chronic unemployment.