Widespread job losses, business closures and other economic disruption are currently the new normal. All of this paints a sobering picture for many.
This especially hits home for re:work training. With 15 candidates currently in the program, over three quarters have experienced loss of income and are in dire need of meaningful employment.
To paint a larger picture, almost 30% of Black, college-educated households would not be able to pay their bills after a $400 emergency expense. For non-college-educated Black households, that number doubles to 60%. Our candidates & alumni not only represent these communities most vulnerable to a pandemic of this magnitude, but by going through the re:work program, they have done their part to take significant steps toward a more secure future.
This is a call to action moment for all of us. Our goal has always been to disrupt the cycle of poverty by addressing one of its major drivers – unemployment. Our program is addressing workforce development so that candidates can reach financial freedom. We must also address immediate needs to ensure more equitable, just, and resilient communities.
We have to prepare for the pressing possibility of an economic slowdown. The threat of a recession will put our Black and Latinx candidates more behind. Less economic growth could result in less hiring and higher unemployment rates. Unemployed Black workers on average had to look for 25.5 weeks for a job over the past twelve months, while unemployed white workers looked for 20.3 weeks. The communities we serve are first to feel the effects of economic downturn and the last to recover from economic swings.
To curb these adverse effects, we at re:work training, are asking our supporters who feel secure enough in their work and current salaries to donate any portion – though full amount is encouraged – of your stimulus check you receive. Your gift will go to a re:work participant who’s been forced out of work, or can’t find work, because of COVID-19.
Aren’t sure how much to donate? Here’s a chart suggesting how much to give.
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When we come out of this crisis, it will be with the knowledge that our candidates’ basic needs are met and that they are equipped to enter into meaningful careers. Our candidates can go back to getting jobs with an average salary of $51,203, plus benefits.