Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert, left, and Richmond McCoy of Urban America were among the speakers at Miami-Dade’s Global 1000 event.
By CAROLYN GUNISS
Urban Philanthropies President Philip Bacon saw the need for economic opportunities in the black community and thought about a strategy.
“People want to rush out and start businesses, but if there are no jobs, there is no income to patronize the business,” Bacon said. “It’s a conundrum. It’s a cycle.”
He saw what Global 1000 was doing, holding job fairs that included on-the-spot hiring. The movement started in Ferguson, Missouri where Lance McCarthy and Ray Lewis changed the way job fairs are held.
For six months he formed partnerships and got the word out that Global 1000 was coming to Miami.
“I thought, if we could make that happen in Miami, it would be a service to the community,” Bacon said.
His vision came to fruition. Urban Philanthropies, in partnership with the cities of Miami, North Miami and Miami Gardens and Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust, hosted a three-day job fair Feb. 8-10 in several areas in MiamiDade County in an effort to help 1,000 people in underserved communities get jobs.
Bacon said he doesn’t have final numbers but he said visually and anecdotally he believes the event was a success. CareerSource South Florida will tally data gathered from participants and present a report about the event.
A press conference hosted by Miami Mayor Frances Suarez at the University of Miami CIC building, located on the edge of Overtown and the Hospital District opened the event. Over the three days, a technology theme emerged from the panels.
Bacon said it was deliberate. “I wanted to focus on a industry where the starting salary is $19 an hour,” said Bacon.
North Miami Councilman Philippe BienAime hosted the Feb. 9 sessions at Johnson and Wales University.
Miami Gardens Mayor Mayor Oliver Gilbert on Feb. 10 hosted a hiring event at one of the city’s newest employers, Topgolf. The company made several on-the-spot hires and other employers scheduled several candidates for follow-up appointments.