Community Economic Development Association (CEDA) representatives discussed the importance of weatherization in low-income homes and employment opportunities at Chatham Business Association’s monthly meeting recently.
The members of CBA Juniors put together a video promoting CBA’s role in empowering the youth. CBA Vice Chairman Joseph Caldwell mentioned that members should hire youth at their businesses.
Hermine L. Wise director of procurement of CEDAmentioned the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and discussed five CEDAprograms including: weatherization, low-income home energy assistance program (LIHEAP), Head Start, Woman Infants and Children (WIC) Program and Workforce and Economic Development (WED).
CEDA has offered Weatherization Services to low-income residents of Cook County for 30 years. The stimulus dollars allowed the organization to add 15 to 25 contractors, provide financial assistance to contractors for specialized equipment, and provide training to contractors interested in specializing in weatherization. New weatherization contracts will begin July 1, 2009.
Wise said CEDA has given to minority businesses. She said they would be building a southeast location in Robbins, IL. Weatherization is expected to increase from 3,500 to 12,000 homes, she said.
John Hamilton director of weatherization at CEDA talked about tripling the number of weatherized homes. President Barack Obama was one of the first presidents to talk about the importance of weatherizing homes, Hamilton said.
To qualify for CEDA’s weatherization services an individual or household must be at 150 percent poverty level with an income below $25,000 a year. Ira Williams director of WED said that people should dress properly for employment. DHS food stamp recipients were sent for employment programs with CEDA.
CEDA WED expects its clients to arrive 15 minutes before all appointments.
Williams encourages employment seekers to learn Spanish. “It will give them a leg up,” he said. He also mentioned the summer youth program in Chicago and suburban Cook County.
Gloria Gayle and Vernon Harrington were added to the CBA board. Gayle is vice president and branch manager of National City at 8700 S. Cottage Grove. Harrington is a general manager at Best Buy on 87th and Lafayette Ave. He wants to target youth by preparing them for employment through CBA Juniors. He also hopes to build strong businesses with CBA. “We should work on a shared vision,” he said. “CBA has given me the opportunity to benefit from networking,” he said.