By Chinta Strausberg
In a continuous effort to employ African Americans in highly paid jobs, Rainbow PUSH Coalition officials are holding a job development class 6-8 p.m., Thursday, July 26, 2018, at Dr. King’s Workshop, 930 E. 50th St. in Chicago.
“We are having our regular meeting for our job bank including training for flaggers positions,” said Omar Shareef, president/founder of the African American Contractors Association (AACA).
But, Shareef, who is also the national labor director and outreach coordinator for PUSH, is launching a business development training class to help train people how to start their own construction business.
“We will teach them how to put together a business plan, how to incorporate a business, teach them the ABC’s of branding and marketing their company,” said Shareef.
He is also inviting those who want to become flaggers who make $41.20 an hour for starters.
“We are also starting a certificate program for the hospitality industry which is a big business. We can make big money working in hospitality even if you have a basic education, but you have to be dedicated,” Shareef said.
Recalling the past, Shareef said, “African Americans used to be prominent in the hospitality industry. I think they left it because it was all that we could do at that time. Today, Blacks want to move up and other ethnic groups are filling those lucrative positions.
Shareef is motivated from his past experiences and knowledge of how the hospitality industry was the prime place for African Americans to work. “A lot of our parents did domestic work. My mother did that. Back then, that was all we knew to do, but times change and African Americans want to make greater employment strides.”
Still, Shareef said there is a lot of money working in the hospitality business. “I was able to sustain myself through college without getting a lot of grants and loan. I was able to buy my mother a home and help my family out working in hospitality,” he recalled.
Shareef earned a degree in hotel/motel management and had deeply immersed himself into that industry before he entered the even more lucrative construction business.
“We are trying to bring African Americans back into the hospitality industry because it is a good way to sustain yourself,” he said.
Shareef is welcoming those who have criminal backgrounds into the hospitality program so they can enhance their livelihoods as well.
Officials from the Hospitality Services Group will ultimately certify the applicants for a number of positions including those interested in a culinary career like chefs, line cooks, food preparatory cooks, or servers, as well as bartenders, banquet captains or bar assistants.