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Hard Times Means Skill Times

What Are Your Skills?

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Job skills and jobsIt is a scary time when so many people are losing their jobs. After getting over the lies that these job losses are caused by President Obama, the question for each of us has to be what skills do I have to sell in order to get another job? As part of the problem today, there are school closures everywhere making it harder to get trained for the skills a person may need to either enter or change occupations.

I believe that there are lost opportunities for job training throughout every community, even with the tragedy of schools shutting down. In every church, club, fraternity, or sorority, there are people with skills that they have mastered and aren't using for a variety of reasons. They are retired, or in some way disabled, but still able to teach someone else the skills that they possess.

I am in my thirtieth year of practicing Law and a few years ago I sought a license to teach people how to be paralegals and legal assistants. My problem was, and is, that I have a very full plate of activities. But even with that, I have managed to train a few paralegals. My son Jamal is a theology scholar and has been in the ministry for years. Over and above teaching at long established schools of theology in Memphis and Atlanta, he long ago established J.D. Institute where he can train others in ministry.

In his teachings, he has established a specific curriculum for training people in subjects related to the Black Church experience in America. In his Institute, he focuses not only on interpretation of the scriptures and preaching, which he calls "proclamation", but he includes certain areas of study unique to the Black Church experience. Lord knows the Black experience in America is a unique one. How do we evangelize the Black community, how do we theologize Hip Hop and what about race, class, gender and ethnicity in the scriptures?

He looks forward to bringing this unique training home to Pasadena in a series of lectures and seminars with mentoring programs and fellowships. Groups or individuals who are interested may contact him at his web site: JD INSTITUTE.com or by calling him at the Journal Offices (626-798-3972). He holds a Ph.D. in theology from the University of Manchester in Manchester, England to go along with his Bachelors from Howard University and Masters from Fuller Seminary.

As we look around for training, we should promote local talent. Bea Martin has established Integrity College of Health located at 1460 N. Lake Avenue in Pasadena. Integrity is the only African American health school in the west San Gabriel Valley and one of the few in the State of California. Health care is one of the enduring professions, no matter what is happening with the economy. People are going to get sick in good times and bad. And people are going to need legal help no matter what. If you need new skills, check out a career as a paralegal or a health care provider. If ministry is your calling, you've got home grown talent to train you.

In these hard times, every organization needs to look at their skill base and develop seminars in various fields to keep the community ready for employment. There is no need to give away occupations like landscaping, building maintenance, plumbing, carpentry or masonry. Those professions got us to where we are today. Too many Blacks have walked away with the skills that provide the keys to successful careers to take care of their families. If you are looking for a way to give back, you have it in your skill bank. Make a withdrawal and share.


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