Summit helps young black men find careers

Summit helps young black men find careers

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A job fair Thursday focused on finding careers for young black men.

One by one more than 1,000 young black men made their way to the Pathways to Success Summit at the Cook Convention Center. Each young man was hoping to find a new career. According to City of Memphis, about half of the young men who attended the seminar were offered jobs on the spot or asked to return for a second interview.

"A full-time job. Somewhere that has benefits that's going to give me a future," Jeremiah Stokes said describing what he was looking for in employment.

Despite having his high school diploma, Stokes has had a tough time finding a full-time job.

"It's hard for us to get out here to get those jobs without experience," Stokes said. "They're giving us a chance without experience."

He's not alone. According to Governing.com the unemployment rate for teenagers and young adults in Tennessee is ten percent. That is double the state average. That is why this job fair focused on hiring men between the ages of 16 and 29.

Russell Jones works for Manpower. It's one of the dozens of businesses that participated in Thursday's event. He said hiring young black men does not just help put money in their pockets, it also lets them learn about options they never knew they had.

"It really gives these kids a chance to really see different avenues and paths they can take and empower them to move forward in their careers," Jones said.

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