The Crusader Newspaper Group

PUSH holds graduation ceremony for 100 flaggers

By Chinta Strausberg, Chicago Crusader

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition last Saturday held a graduation ceremony at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition headquarters for 100 people who are now certified flaggers—a position that pays up to $41.20 an hour.

Saying training matters, Rev. Janette Wilson, executive director of PUSH Excel, along with Judge Greg Mathis, the chairman, and Omar Shareef, president/founder African American Contractors Association, passed out certificates of achievement to the graduates as they walked across the stage on September 9.

“We trained over 350 flaggers this week,” said Shareef. “Our purpose is to help bring light to the fact that unemployment is very high in our community and we at PUSH believe we should train our men and women so they can get a fair wage in the construction community.

“We will continue to fight for jobs and contracts throughout the city of Chicago so men and women can work, hold their heads up and be dignified in our community because if we don’t work, nobody works,” he said.

Shareef said there should be a flagger at every construction site “and every man and woman should know something about the construction industry because there are millions and billions of dollars” in this industry.

He and Rev. Wilson will be giving a forklifting class every Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, 930 E. 50th St.

Shareef said PUSH will be holding unarmed security classes. “Ex-offenders can be a part of this because they cannot carry a gun.”

PUSH officials are trying to get African Americans into the lucrative construction building.

Throughout the day, volunteers continued to pack donations for Hurricane Harvey. Saturday ended a two-week donation drive by the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. At the end of the day, Laith Shuaibi and Adam Shuaibi, owners of Jamaican Jerk King, 206 E. 35th St., brought in ten cases of water.

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