New program aims to bring jobs to residents of north Houston

District B Councilman Tarsha Jackson on Thursday launched an effort to connect residents in her district with job training and comprehensive services, an effort she hopes will alleviate poverty and improve the quality of life in North Houston .

The project, titled Be Successful, was born in part from disturbing data on District B households, which include Acres Homes, Kashmere Gardens and Greater Fifth Ward, among others.

According to census estimates, only 10 percent of the district’s 195,000 residents have college degrees, and 31 percent have not completed high school. About 37 percent of households there live on less than $25,000 a year, which equates to about $12 an hour.

“You can’t support and raise a family on that income, so the most pressing problem in District B right now is the lack of opportunity,” Jackson said. “The best way to help our community thrive is to help people get good-paying jobs so they can raise their families.”

Also Read :  Elon Musk’s Shadowbanning Policy Causes Right-Wingers to Fume – Rolling Stone

TIED TOGETHER: District B elects its council member – a year late

The program’s primary initiative is to hire 25 community resource navigators tasked with connecting residents to job training, educational opportunities, and other resources. This includes organizing workshops on vocational maturity with the aim of finding jobs for 600 people in the first year.

The price of $2.5 million for The program will be funded in part by pre-approved city funds and in part by private partners Jackson is recruiting. Gallery Furniture founder Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale attended the press conference and pledged his help.

“The best advice I ever got in my life was from my dad… ‘Get up, go to work and do something with your life,'” McIngvale said. “We must take this message to the thousands of people in Houston who are sadly deprived of the greatest joy in life, and that joy is the joy of work. We need to get these people jobs.”

Also Read :  Black Business Strategies program expands entrepreneurship opportunities • Long Beach Business Journal

Jackson’s framework also includes previously planned initiatives, such as the mayor’s crime plan and parks plan, to address issues such as public safety and quality of life. Part of Turner’s $53 million crime plan – which was included at Jackson’s suggestion – was to hire 25 “credible messengers,” people who encountered the criminal justice system and successfully exited it.

TIED TOGETHER: Tarsha Jackson is using her son’s struggles as a catalyst for criminal justice reform

Her role will be to reach out to people in the juvenile justice system and try to coach them on how to get back to school and prepare for a career. The initiative will hire 25 such messengers. Jackson, whose own son entered the criminal justice system as a child, worked in the justice organization prior to her election.

Also Read :  Ark's Cathie Wood Continues to Stumble

Jeremy Craft, who manages the credible Messenger program, said he overcame a conviction for assault with a deadly weapon at age 12 by focusing on school, learning from people who had overcome the system, and worked hard.

“It’s a testament to the mentors, the peers, the leaders that I’ve connected with,” Craft said. “That’s what credible ambassadors are all about, giving these youth the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and grow from their mistakes.”

Jackson is also working to bring in private partners to help improve parks in the district. The Astros Foundation, she said, recently agreed to sponsor Smoky Jasper Park.

[email protected]

More stories from Houston and Texas