Only 6 percent of city employees are African American, new group aims to diversity workforce
(Editor’s note: This story was originally published Jun. 30, 2020 at 9:18 PM EDT on wbko.com)
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (Great Health Divide) - Following the outcry of racial injustice in our nation, local leaders have formed a group called, Gamechangers to help combat the issue.
Their goal is to focus on the racial disparity within the workforce and education system in Bowling Green.
Reverend John Lee of Mt. Zion Baptist Church and Reverend Megan Huston of First Christian Church are helping lead the coalition.
“I think we are aware that there is a disparity, but I’m not sure that we’re aware of how great that disparity is,” said Reverend Lee. “And one of the things that we’re seeking to do is bring awareness. Secondly, form a partnership or collaboration with employers to find out what the expectations are. Next, to help identify work ready candidates, finding qualified people.”
The group brings up some staggering numbers which they say were the driving force for the group and say the statistics highlight the disparities.
According to an open records request, out of 483 full time Bowling Green city employees, only 29 are African American. Out of 131 supervisor positions, six of them are African Americans. Meanwhile, African Americans make up 13% of our community.
“So it’s really not representative of our community,” said Reverend Huston. “And we think we can change that. The school system is another place that we think we can do better. If you look at South Warren High School for example, there’s only one black teacher there. We think that we can change this, so we want to work with employers and potential employees to see where the barrier is happening.”
In Bowling Green city schools, 18 of its 330 certified employees (ie: teacher, principalassistant principals, counselors, librarians, and school psychologists), are black. African Americans make up 20% of the student population and only 3% of teachers are African American, according to data sent from city schools.
Their goal is to create partnerships with employers and job candidates, and then connect one with the other, aiming to pave a more direct path for minorities.
Find out for example if an employer is saying, ‘they’re not a fit here’ then we want to know why they’re not a fit and what are you looking for because we’re just not interested in the problem of unemployment, but we’re also interested in the issue of underemployment”
“Our plan is to really have results from this that from awareness, accountability through partnerships we want to see these numbers change,” said Reverend Huston.
You can get involved with Gamechangers either as a potential employee or employer by connecting with them through their Facebook page.
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