Jobs vs. business

Business as usual? Hardly anyone thinks that’s a good thing anymore. When the City of Cleveland is publicly announced as ranking dead last out of 68 large American cities in a national survey on poverty, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Joblessness isn’t just for the poor anymore. They may be more used to it, but it’s a tough position for anybody to be in. And the thing is, it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Though some businesses are picking up, it’s not translating into more jobs. Between technology and outsourcing (even some parts of Microsoft have people in India answering tech support calls), the job market shrinks more every week.

Thus, the new emphasis on entrepreneurial spirit. The Urban League of Greater Cleveland has just opened a brand new Multicultural Development Center that will serve as a one-stop shop to help minorities start their own businesses. They’re offering training, resource-sharing capabilities, networking and general information, as well as personal mentoring and assistance.

It’s a great idea. They’ve got some real power behind it with a former KeyBank executive running it–and KeyBank supporting it. Beyond their usual mission of helping disadvantaged people find jobs, they’re now going to help create opportunity and create new jobs–and bring some of the spending power of the minority community back into the city. Congratulations to the Urban League for being in the frontlines in the war on poverty.

And congratulations to Mayor Jane Campbell for not only not ducking the issue, but for mobilizing and coordinating existing forces to fight it–at a time when city itself is learning the meaning of poverty…

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