Jason Henry Introduces Jobs Plan for District 46
As we inch closer to Election Day and the selection of a new leader for District 46, we have the unique opportunity to choose an individual with a vision for the future and the fighting spirit necessary to get the job done.
I am ready to rise to this challenge, to attack our community’s most pressing needs. For too long, our neighborhoods have suffered under the weight of unemployment and been beaten down by the lack of economic opportunity.
Well, I say no more.
Introducing “Bloc 46,” my bold plan to bring about positivity and prosperity to our seemingly forgotten world. With the right leadership and the will to succeed, we can make District 46 a better place for our families, our businesses and ourselves.
Bloc is defined as a combination of persons or groups forming a unit with a common interest. Our common interest is that we want this district to be the best that it can be and we do that by working together.
“Bloc 46” includes the creation of a new vocational training program that is aimed toward the long-term unemployed. Florida’s unemployment rate for African-Americans is around 16 percent and that number is reflected in and around the Pine Hills community.
To combat this problem, “Bloc 46” includes a new program modeled after the Central Florida Urban League’s “Center for Innovation Job Training” initiative.
“Bloc 46” can be the blueprint for economic and employment success within District 46.
But jobs aren’t all we need. We need economic opportunity. “Bloc 46” identifies growth industries that will benefit from the program.
According to the United States Department of Labor, the Information Technology field will add a significant amount of new jobs in the coming years.
Computer Programmers. Software Engineers.
Our residents must be ready to proudly fill these positions.
And they will be ready – “Bloc 46” offers a path for those who seek at a better life for themselves and their family through vocational training at facilities right here in the community.
Let’s use our resources wisely.
I have identified Evans High School as one of those potential resources, a great place where the community can “learn to earn” a living wage in a professional environment.
By partnering with the Orange County School Board and the Board of County Commissioners, we can keep the costs of the programs low, so that many more can be afforded the opportunity to succeed.
As your representative at the state government level, I will fight for the funds to make this program happen. I will also work diligently with the City of Orlando and its leadership to use all of the resources available to open the door of opportunity for as many who want to enter.
Cooperation coupled with strong leadership and a desire to change our lives for the better is the “Bloc 46” way.
But government alone cannot make this a reality.
Public private partnerships will also play an important role in the success of this program. Those companies and institutions that would greatly benefit from a well-trained workforce would gladly help fund this initiative.
But it will take strong leadership to bring all of these entities to the table
I have already identified two local businesses ready to join the team: The Walt Disney Company and Amway Center. Both will assist in helping with the costs associated with training at least five local, long-term unemployed residents in the field that has the most need for each corporation.
This kind of training is not cheap – salary, equipment, property and staffing is very expensive to provide. But by bringing multiple actors to the table – such as the state, corporations and local government – the burden of these expenses can be spread out and more people can be offered this much-needed training.
Lastly, “Bloc 46” has the ultimate goal of driving down unemployment while educating and training our local residents to enter into satisfying life-long careers.
While it is true that in the beginning, the number of people enrolled in these programs will seem fairly small. But as competent, serious, educated individuals emerge, this program will only grow in size and scope.
That means less people on unemployment and more money being spent in our local economy. Good businesses will thrive once again and our people can be happy.
But it will take a strong leader willing to knock on those doors and ask the tough questions. I am that leader.