I found myself in a conversation with a grandmother who was lamenting that her young grandson was job hunting and couldn’t ﬁnd a job. Her dilemma was, what do I do now? I wasn’t much help because all of the ideas I discussed had already been tried to no avail. I asked if he had tried the local stores and she said yes. The movie theaters, and seasonal retail stores, they’ve all gone digital. You’ve got to order it on the internet. We came up with labor jobs, like gardening and janitorial. Quite honestly, he had just graduated from High School and wanted to work a year before attempting to enter college. It seemed like a good idea at the time but now, not so hot. His mother’s friend was a manager at an electronic store and said he would help get him a job. However, the store was across town and the young man had no, car. I advised him that the busses were still running.
We are in an America period where traditional jobs are being transferred to other countries or to technology. Black Girls Rock! is an annual awards show that honors and promotes Black women in different ﬁelds involving music, entertainment, medicine and entrepreneurship. Michelle Obama has launched Global Girls Alliance, an organization designed to support some 1,500 girls-education groups around the globe.
There are those who have made it already such as Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé and other professional entertainers. But everybody is not an entertainer. We at the Journal try to hire as many locals as possible. That is one way we give back. Before local businesses can give back, people must understand that they need to invest in these community businesses when they need goods and services. You have to have something in order to give back.
When the community supports the Journal by subscribing and purchasing ads, we are able to have something to give back. When you need your hair cut or a perm, or when you’ve had an accident and need your legal services ﬁlled, keep some of that money at home, in the community, so we can hire your son or daughter. We must help people understand that when they need to hire the best in the world many are right here at home.
I admire our young people who sought out and attended the best schools, worked in some of the largest companies, served in some of the best organizations, and then come back home and work to make our community better. For example, one of our longest advertisers, are two young women who run Woods Valentine Mortuary. Gail and Janet took over the business from their parents, Fred and Arzella, and continue to run a very enterprising establishment which their children will inherit.
Another example is Attorney Marlene Cooper, a local lawyer who also advertises in the Journal. She was lead attorney for one of America’s largest and most prestigious companies in the world prior to starting her own successful law practice specializing in Trusts, Wills, Probate and Estate Planning.
A retired janitor who worked for a school district now has a janitorial company, a sign painter who learned at Pasadena City College has a sign painting business now. His work is all over Pasadena. He apprenticed for a local preacher who also painted signs for years. That’s giving back. The preacher created a training opportunity for a young man and now the young man is on his own. A lady who was an ofﬁcer in a national college now has retired and works part time at the Journal. We just need to keep the advertising coming so we can keep her.
My personal story was working as an ofﬁ cer in the Equal Employment Ofﬁce, one of America’s largest and best known corporations in America. Hopefully I have done a good job and also served as a mentor and inspiration to other lawyers in the area. I am thankful to those who have trusted their legal problems to me since 1982. The Journal was founded and funded by the earnings from the law practice. We have inspired a number of young people in the Journal as well as legal practitioners over the years. That’s what happens when you trade locally and keep community ﬁrst.