To the Editor:
The following is an open letter to friends of the Centreville Labor Resource Center.
The Centreville Labor Resource Center, the 3-month-old project of Centreville Immigration Forum, is open and operating.
There are nearly 25 men who use the CLRC daily to find job opportunities and get valuable job training. We have daily ESL classes, tax preparation assistance, and computers available for workers to learn and check employment possibilities. We have a popular class in electrical installation and safety, taught by a licensed electrician, and we have had visits from a local dentist. We have workers who take leadership in meetings, and support all Center operations.
We are grateful for the support of the Centreville community during the first three months of CLRC operations. The dedication of our volunteers has been phenomenal, with just under 600 volunteer hours contributed in less than three months.
However, to reach our goals, we need more jobs each day. The lack of the jobs at the CLRC leads many workers to lose hope in our new institution and return to the street. Most of the workers on the street have come thousands of miles because there was a job demand; they will come a thousand more yards if that same demand moves down to the CLRC. Community residents, business people, and public safety officers know that street-side pick-up of workers is not safe; now we need the community to work together to discourage this practice. We need your help to undo a practice that has been going on for 15 years.
If you are an employer of temporary labor, come to the Center for quick, friendly and efficient service. We will find a worker who has the skills you need, and we will assist you in negotiating the pay. All Center services are free.
If you know others who hire, inform them that police and shopping center owners are increasing their efforts to stop street-side hiring. Stop by the CLRC to pick up flyers with maps to provide to friends or acquaintances who may hire.
These efforts will bring more dignity to workers, and greater health and safety to our community.
Director Shani Moser,
Organizer Molly Maddra