The Working Cities Newport Equity in Workforce Development team announces our 2nd Annual DreamFest, to be held at Pell Elementary School on Saturday, April 29 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. 

Cheryl Robinson, President of Turning Around Ministries and co-lead for the Equity in Workforce Development team, stated “DreamFest is the third of three events that Equity in Workforce Development has sponsored this year.  We launched with a t-shirt design contest that involved students from Thompson Middle School and Rogers High School.  Over 102 students participated in this effort.  The students are encouraged to wear their t-shirts to DreamFest.  The second event we held was a Job Fair at the CCRI Newport Campus.  Our goal for DreamFest is that adults and youth will be encouraged to dream about a career and then pursue that dream.”  

“As young people, how many of us had any clue what the range and variety of jobs available to us were?  DreamFest helps us think about that and then takes it one step further.  DreamFest shows an historically marginalized community that they can picture themselves in those jobs.”  Says Elizabeth McDowell, co-leader of Equity in Workforce Development and Director of Education & Career Pathways at East Bay Community Action Program.

Schools work hard to help students see their options, but sometimes it “takes a village”.  On April 29, the BIPOC community will come out in force to show children and adults alike that People of Color have many different rewarding careers.  “And every pathway looks a little different—we hope to normalize that for everyone—there are very few people traveling a straight shot from high school to college to career.  For most of us, our pathways have a number of sidetracks, stop-outs, and changes. Knowing how to get to the next step, even if you are facing a total re-launch, is key,” comments McDowell.  

For those looking at a re-launch, representatives from CCRI, College Unbound, EBCAP’s Education & Career Pathways, and other education programs will be available for coaching and exploring education options.

Although the Working Cities DreamFest focuses on helping People of Color to discover that there are various career opportunities available to them, ALL people are welcome,” says Robinson, “This event can have a great impact on our community.”

Equity in Workforce Development is a team of employers, residents, School Board members, City Council members, the faith community, social service agencies and other stakeholders who strive for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) residents aspiring to and pursuing true careers over low-paying, low-growth jobs.  To this end, we work to ensure that:

  • Residents feel seen, heard, and respected by Newport employers and the Newport community at large; and 
  • They know what job-search resources are available to them, how to access them, and how to advance their careers, while
  • Employers offer more transparency about pathways and means for advancement; and 
  • Job managers build cultural humility with the BIPOC community so there are fewer micro-aggressions and more opportunities.

Source: The Working Cities Newport Equity in Workforce Development team

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