Durham CAN has a grand vision for Durham. We want to see Durham become a Living Wage City as well as see increased access to job training and jobs for people in our community that need it most.
For the last year, Durham CAN has been working hard on their jobs campaign, holding listening sessions with more than 1,000 people and negotiating with elected officials and local business leaders. On Thursday, March 21, 2019, from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm, Durham CAN will be holding an action with Mayor Schewel, the Durham City Council, and local business leaders from Duke, Go Triangle, Durham Tech and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development to celebrate and reaffirm these commitments in public at the Monument of Faith Church, 900 Simmons St., in Durham.
Our goal is to have 25 friends and members of ERUUF attend the action. It is a small effort on our part with a potentially big impact to effect change in our community through the advocacy of policies that will impact low and moderate income residents of Durham. Many of us have benefitted from our current economy and growth in the Triangle, including ERUUF, but let’s not forget those who have not.
Although Durham is experiencing a very low unemployment rate, currently at around 3.4%, this low rate hides the fact that many Durham residents have no access to the jobs being created. In fact, people living in Durham Housing Authority properties who are able to work, have an unemployment rate of 60%! At the action, Durham CAN will be asking the head of Durham Tech, the head of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development to increase access to job training opportunities for those Durham residents who need it most. We will also be asking the City Council representatives to recommit to doubling the size of the youth summer employment programs beginning this year.
Are you aware of the Living Wage Project in Durham?
Over 140 businesses in Durham have been certified. Durham CAN will use this action to celebrate those businesses and encourage them to be leaders among their colleagues in getting more business to get certified. Durham CAN will also be making specific requests to the heads of both Go Triangle and the Durham Housing Authority to commit to paying employees a living wage and hiring local employees.
Finally, Durham CAN will be asking executives from Duke University to join Durham CAN leaders in a field trip to Johns Hopkins University to see first hand how they are leading their business community bringing jobs to Baltimore, hiring justice-involved individuals through the Turn Around Tuesday project, and paying a living wage. Can Duke University follow in their footsteps? Of course they can! But they need to see that this is important to the people of Durham.