Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pathstone Program Seeks Young People For Gas Related Jobs in PA: Read On For the Requirements

Photo credit: Carol Manuel
There is an organization called Pathstone, a community development and human services group that coordinates and supervises a program which helps people to get their lives back.  Right now the Scranton, PA, branch of Pathstone is looking for 20 people to train in September as welders and 12 people who want to learn to become diesel mechanics.  Funding, a $2.3 million grant, for the program came from the federal stimulus program.   I can't think of a better way to spend tax dollars than to help young people get jobs.  However, to qualify for the program, a person must live in Scranton, Dunmore, Taylor, Old Forge, or Dickson City, and be unemployed, a high school dropout, OR HAVE A CRIMINAL RECORD. Perhaps these candidates have paid their debt to society and just need a break to return as contributing citizens.  However, I have to seriously question the advisability of employing them in jobs which require long hours, high stress, easy access to drugs and alcohol, and minimal supervision.  And regrettably, home owners are fearful enough about having strangers on their properties at all hours of the day and night without having to wonder if these people also have criminal records.  I hope the omission of "non-violent" was an oversight.  What crimes are acceptable?  I would like to know.

A typical interview might go something like this:

Interviewer:  All right, then, Jimmy, you live in Scranton, and you dropped out of school, right?
Applicant:  Yeah.
I:  And when did you drop out of school?
A:  In seventh grade.
I:  I see.  Okay, so are you currently employed?
A:  No.
I:  Fabulous!  You do meet the requirements.  Oh, and one more thing.  Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
A:  Yeah, several.
I:  Okay.  You do qualify for this program.

It seems to me that this is the wrong industry to go to in looking for training and employment for such individuals.  It's dangerous work and not nearly enough oversight is possible.  These are compromised kids.  Let's find something more suitable for them.  In a way, we are taking advantage of these young people because we are offering them an opportunity while at the same time placing them in harm's way in jobs that can and do lead to accidents and deaths. It is similar to the "economic draft" in the military where recruiters prey on kids from the projects and convince them that the military is a great opportunity for them.  A pay check, health care, etc.  But what really happens is that these kids are sent overseas to Iraq or Afghanistan and often end up dead or severely injured for life.  We use them as cannon fodder.

Read the whole story here.


aldavis34 said...

fortunately for you , you havent made any mistakes in your past. i have just finished the summer program from pathstone and i would like to say that it took alot of hard work. and there is more hardwork to be done to secure employment and even more hardwork after i get employed. i am grateful for the opportunity provided by pathstone. its actually not like the economic draft. we dont get a sign on bonus. we arent guaranteed a job after basic training. we still have to support ourselves and are families while we are in school. realistically when i get a job with a decent salary on one of these oil rigs, it will enable me to get out of this economic situation i am talk about the economic backdoor draft. what about the fact there are more black men in jail than in college. so when the opportunity is presented to get out of that environment and given a chance to work hard for more than $8 an hour, why would you have a problem with that. have you ever supported a family on $250 a week. or worked for a dollar a day in a prison. but im not too concerned about the socio-economical perspective. im just trying to support my son. Hater

Jonathan lewis said...

I also just completed this program and sticking a needle full of heroin in my arm was dangerous and put my life in danger for years not to mention state prison. My charges were drug possion. Not anything more or less and YOU the taxpayer footed the $60000 it took to keep this drug addict in prison. I just got my one year chip from my AA group Sat. So when do I get to prove I can be a citizen. By the way I'm on unemployment which I paid into when I was working and the whole program is to get people off the roles. I had to bring in proof of my address and unemployment to even get in this program. Scranton and the surrounding area has the highest rate in the state. So let's just let them drill on our land bring in labor from other states (where the money is going back to by the way). Today I am driving to towanda to put in apps in hopes of securing a job and paying Pennsylvania taxes. I also do all my shopping in scranton. P.S. I'm a 35 year old white man.