Franklin resident enlists help to get jobs for southside residents
Published 9:39 am Wednesday, January 28, 2015
In cooperation with business and community leaders, Thomas Councill Jr. has been setting up the Southside Job Network in Franklin to alleviate unemployment and underemployment, particularly for residents living on the southside.
Though Councill’s been actively working on the network for the past month or so, the concept has been developing in his head for quite some time.
“I’ve been thinking about it for 10 years. I needed to get it straight in my mind,” he said.
The network serves as one for work referrals and identifying people in need.
“I’m trying to get training if possible, such as plasterers, or for lifestyle changes,” Council said. “It’s better to teach someone to fish than just feed them fish.”
One of several people working with him on the project is Clyde Bailey, who has two businesses that are part of the network.
“I have Trinkets and Treasures and Pilton’s Palace,” Bailey said. “My participation is trying to get more options and jobs for people looking for jobs. To help them get a better future and career.”
For example, the furniture shop often requires deliveries, so he finds men to do that work as well as other work related to people moving in and out of the area.
“You’d be amazed at the things people need done — painting, roofing — it all depends on the project,” Bailey said.
Two of those men are Jason Drewry, who used to work at Smithfield Foods, and Ibrahim Meriwether, formerly of Newport News.
Being able to provide jobs to such men, Bailey added, is his way of “giving back and doing my best.”
Other businesses involved so far are Solid Oaks llc and Grant Construction. Tim Grant of the latter organization said he’s teaching and training young men — he has three so far — in the skills of carpentry, drywall and roof work to add on or remodel homes.
Serving as network consultants are Lawyer Artis, Dr. Linwood Johnson III and Ross Preau.
The Rev. Vanessa Hinton of Hickory Grove AME Zion and the Rev. Pearlie Banks offer spiritual guidance.
“In my view,” Councill said, “We have to have a spiritual component. Jesus taught us to work and be disciplined. When people have frustrations, anxieties and are going through hardships, they need spiritual support to find their way out of their troubles. I asked the churches to be spiritual supporters. To pray with them and counsel them. Pastor Hinton said her church will also try to help any other way it can, such as getting a church member to help someone with resumes or providing clothes for interviews.
“We’re just going to try to help them the best we can.”
But Councill isn’t stopping with these resources, and “is still recruiting” for various connections to strengthen and expand the program.
To learn more about the network, contact him at 562-4291.