Community Jobs Forums - Allentown Stands Up

Last week we shared some examples of how mayors across the country have stood up and given voice to their towns and areas by holding community jobs forums.  But of course this is not just about mayors and other public officials, so we also wanted to share a story that really demonstrates exactly what this whole process is about.  It also comes out of Allentown, Pennsylvania, where the President spent his day after the initial jobs forum here at the White House.   Incidentally, it will unfold in about a half hour if you're in the area.

From The Morning Call:

Anne Horosky, a lifelong Republican who voted for John McCain in the presidential election, never imagined she would be working on the same side as President Barack Obama.

But when the 53-year-old South Whitehall Township woman lost her career in June, her politics suddenly shifted.

''I'm seeing what it's all about on the other side and now I understand how government can really work for someone who is in need,'' Horosky said.

So, when Obama scheduled his December visit to Allentown, she e-mailed the White House to share her story.

In response, the White House invited Horosky to host her very own jobs forum in Allentown and to report back the concerns of the people in her community. She will be holding it Monday night at 6:30 in the clubhouse at the Cedar Creek Farms community, where she lives.

A little more:

Frank Costanzo, the community manager at Cedar Creek Farms, said the clubhouse where the forum will be held can hold 115 people, but he hopes so many come that ''it flows into the parking lot.''

Costanzo said the forum is an opportunity to bring together the local unemployed to share their experiences, their hardships and their successes. There are former CEOs now working at Home Depot, he said, and there is a plumber in the neighborhood who has been unable to get work since he was laid off two years ago.

''I think a lot of good will come of it,'' Costanzo said. ''Maybe something we pass on will be something that is planted.''

It's not too late to sign up to hold your own, but the deadline is closing in -- sign up by January 7th, and we'll be taking feedback for a couple weeks after that. 

Related Topics: Economy, Pennsylvania