Men link people, mall-related jobs


March 14, 2000|By Nancy Gallant | Nancy Gallant,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

LEWIS BRACY read an article about the Arundel Mills mall under construction and thought, "What a great opportunity for jobs in our area!"

Bracy, who works at the National Security Agency, has been an area resident since 1976 and has been aware of the serious problems of unemployment in some areas of western Anne Arundel County, near the mall site. He thought early contact with the developers could help land construction and retail jobs for residents.

Bracy contacted the Maryland Forum of African American Leaders and the developers of the mall to set up a program matching local workers with construction jobs.

Dave Cool, a former engineer who is a stay-at-home dad, volunteers three days a week at his daughter's school, Harmans Elementary. Cool has been deeply touched by the financial need suffered by many of the pupils. When Cool saw the notice about the mall project, he was immediately aware that the project could provide construction job opportunities for local residents.

Cool went to the Job Initiative Program at Arundel Mills to see whether this program, usually oriented toward retail jobs, could also help provide unskilled construction jobs for workers in the community.

Not only did Cool get a favorable reception about hiring local workers, Arundel Mills also told him about Bracy. The two men met and have been working closely together since, developing a program they hope will lead to the employment of hundreds of local residents.

The two contacted several civic associations to publicize the job opportunities. Pioneers in Action of Pioneer City, New Horizons Church, Provinces Community Association, Peach Orchard Community Association, Harmans Community Association, Severn Improvement Association and several homeowners associations have become involved.

Fliers have been distributed advertising community job fairs. At the first job fair, two weeks ago at Van Bokkelen Elementary School, about 80 job-seekers took part in mock interviews, filled out applications and discussed employment issues.

Each day, Cool receives a job update from Arundel Mills. He is delighted every time he can call someone on his list and say: "There is a job waiting. Meet me today and let me take you for a job interview."

A second job fair will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 21 in the Recreation Center in Meade Village. Information: Lewis Bracy, 410-551-7660.

CARP meeting tomorrow

Crofton Association of Retired Persons (CARP) will hold its monthly meeting at 10: 30 a.m. tomorrow at the Seton Parish Church Hall. John Wilson of the Naval Academy will speak about "The Life and Times of John Paul Jones." A luncheon will be served.

Last month, I attended a CARP meeting as a guest and was amazed by the variety of programs. Some are as small as sending notes to people who are ill, others as big as weeklong trips. Some involve entertainment for CARP members, others service to the community, such as helping at blood drives. Most of all, I was impressed by the mutual support and affection shared by this group of area seniors.

Curious about the delicious luncheons served each month, I went behind the scenes into the kitchen. Cathy Scott, Chris Nehman, Barbara Emden and Sue Motzer were busy putting the final touches on the meal. They were working hard but laughing, too.

Jack Williams proudly showed off his "#1 Dishpan Man" apron. But he does far more than wash dishes. He is involved from start to finish in preparing the monthly luncheons.

Membership in CARP is open to people ages 55 and older. Annual dues are $10; luncheon meetings cost $7. Information: Grace Walker, 410-721-8830.

New board members

Crofton Swim and Tennis Club recently elected board members to oversee this popular summertime recreational facility. Lisa Anne Burns, Pat Keffer and Jim Casey were elected to serve three-year terms. At the board's first meeting, officers were elected. They are Peter Jensen, president; Andy Trohanis, vice president; Pam Larue, treasurer; and Babbie Poyer, secretary.

Membership is open to all areas in the Crofton triangle, bounded by routes 3, 424 and 450. Information: Administrative Officer Jackie Castle, 410- 721-3133.

Tobacco-Free Kids Week

All week, county youngsters are taking part in activities encouraging adolescents not to use tobacco as part of the Anne Arundel County Department of Health's Tobacco-Free Kids Week.

Students at Chesapeake Baptist School in Severn will compete in a schoolwide "Tobacco Jeopardy" tournament. Pupils at Crofton Middle School will create chains of their pledges not to smoke and will listen to smoking facts during morning announcements. George Fox Middle School will hand out Tobacco-Free Kids Week supplies, such as stickers, pencils and note pads.

The program is part of the health department's Learn to Live Cancer Prevention Program. Information: Evelyn Stein, 410-222-7209.

German-American group

The Christian German-American Women's Group will meet at noon Monday in the Blue Room at the Chapel Center in Fort Meade. The agenda will consist of a period of praise and reflection, followed by a German lunch, and a music and craft hour. Women who are interested in German culture and language are invited.

Information: Irene Kucholik, 301-621-7862 or Lisa Beilke, 301-604-5880.

Turkey hunter clinic

The Central Maryland Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will sponsor a wild turkey hunter clinic from 1 p.m. to dusk Saturday at Meyer Station Range. The clinic will cover scouting techniques, safety, ethics, shooting tips, natural history and management, camouflage and calls. The program will also include shotgun patterning and a field hunting exercise.

The hunter clinic is designed to to present practical advanced hunting information.

A registration fee of $6 will be charged. Children younger than age 17 will be admitted free. Information: Chuck Lewis, 410-255-4341.

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