New York City’s Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center (LMCCC), Building Trades Employers Association and Borough of Manhattan Community College launched the Project Job Scheduler Training Program to encourage minorities, women and veterans to participate in the city’s construction sector and downtown rebuilding effort. The program is aimed at preempting the industry’s anticipated shortage of skilled labor, management personnel and entry-level employees as the pace of construction in the city increases. Funded by a grant from the LMCCC’s Opportunity Downtown Program, it will cover critical path method, cost and revenue management, contracting and legal issues, blue prints and technical specifications, technical writing, communications and other “soft” skills, and industry-specific software (Primavera).
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson announced $45.5 million in grants to provide at-risk young people with careers in home building. Young people who drop out of high school face a lifetime of underemployment and can be at higher risk of homelessness. The YouthBuild grants will help youngsters, ages 16 to 24, to earn their high school diplomas and train them for a future in the construction trades while producing 702 homes for lower income families. Grants of $700,000 each will go to South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. in the Bronx, N.Y., and to YouthBuild Newark Inc. and the Housing Authority of the city of Camden in New Jersey.
B. Smith Furniture
B. Smith, former fashion model turned television host, restaurateur and lifestyle maven, signed a deal with Clayton Marcus, a division of the La-Z-Boy Corp., to create a B. Smith-inspired furniture collection. Smith, whose successful B. Smith with Style® Home Collection is sold exclusively at Bed Bath & Beyond® stores nationwide and is a national spokesperson for General Mills’ Betty Crocker and Pillsbury brands, Colgate-Palmolive and Unilever’s Lawry’s seasonings, is recognized as an American style icon. Her Clayton Marcus collection is slated to be introduced at the International Home Furnishings Market in March 2007, making her the first African-American woman to present her own furniture collection.
RLJ’s Philly Casino
Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. joined billionaire entrepreneur Robert L. Johnson as an equity partner to pursue a license for a gaming facility in Philadelphia. If approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Johnson would own approximately one-third of the proposed casino. Johnson sold his Black Entertainment Television, the first African-American-owned company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, to Viacom Inc. in 2000. His holding company, RLJ Cos., has gaming interests in the Caribbean through its ownership of Caribbean Gaming and Entertainment. Pinnacle Entertainment owns and operates casinos in Nevada, Louisiana, Indiana, Argentina and the Bahamas.
Carver Federal Savings Bank’s newly established financial literacy center at 300 West 145th St., New York City, is partnering with not-for-profit and community-based organizations to provide financial counseling and education services, including one-on-one counseling, post-refinancing counseling, home-buyer education seminars and community outreach. The center’s first initiative, with Neighborhood Housing Service of Bedford Stuy-vesant and Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, will address predatory lending. NHS and HCCI are nonprofit providers of mortgage counseling services.
For the sixth consecutive year, a 10-day all-expenses-paid journalism program will be held in August at Princeton University for students from households with a total annual income of $45,000 or less. Paid expenses include travel costs to and from Princeton. Applicants must be entering their junior or senior year of high school in Fall 2007, have at least a 3.0 grade point average (out of 4.0) and must have demonstrated an interest in journalism. Applications must be postmarked no later than February 15th. More information and all application materials are available at www.princeton.edu/~sjp, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wanted: Med School Applicants
The Association of American Medi-cal Colleges announced a new marketing campaign to encourage more minority students to choose medicine as a career. AspiringDocs.org is both a Web site and an outreach effort to provide undergraduate minority students with the support, information, and guidance they need to apply to and enroll in medical school. The need for a more diverse physician work force is growing increasingly urgent as the nation's racial and ethnic diversity increases and a nationwide physician shortage looms. While African-Americans, Hispanics and Latinos and Native Americans make up 25 percent of the U.S. population, only 12 percent of students who graduate from the nation’s medical schools are from these groups and only 6 percent of all practicing physicians are members of these minority groups.
The American Association of Black Cardiologists launched Choices a program that provides churches with education, hands-on training and screening equipment to increase the awareness and prevention of cardiovascular disease in the communities they serve. The program is being implemented at four churches in each of five cities: Chicago, Il.; Claiborne County, Ms.; New York City; Philadelphia, Pa.; and Phoenix, Ariz. Its educational component, entitled “7 Steps to a Spiritually and Physically Healthy Heart,” is a nine-week Bible study course combining spiritual and physical lessons on heart health and risk factor reduction for cardiovascular disease.
Nielsen Advisory Council
Nielsen Media Research established a 12-member African-American Advisory Council to advise on issues involving sampling of African-Americans for television audience measure-ment in the United States and to assist in reaching out to African-American communities. African-Americans represent more than 13 million television households, comprising approximately 12 percent of all U.S. television households. Nielsen says it plans to establish a Hispanic Advisory Council in 2007.
Global Business: Regulating Chemicals
A new European Union law vastly expands the regulation of chemicals and, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, could serve as a barrier to U.S. products. Known as REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals), the law requires companies to submit data to register more than 30,000 chemicals with EU regulators, though the vast majority already are on the market. Some chemicals will also have to undergo additional study and regulatory processes, which can lead to bans and other restrictions. REACH regulations are based on the “precautionary principle,” which demands that manufacturers prove their products are “safe” before regulators allow them into commerce. U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) is expected to offer a retaliatory bill modeled after REACH during the 110th Congress.
Joblynx.com launched a New York-exclusive job site at www.newyorkjoblynx.com, providing access to as many as 4.2 million jobs and related resources. It is Joblynx.com’s first of many planned market-specific sites. The New York service guarantees member job seekers full satisfaction within 90 days, or a return of the total initial $99 fee if candidates do not find a suitable job in that time. The site links to top headhunters in New York-specific industries, industry-specific associations and other resources, as well as offer career advice and newsletters.