Committee focuses on job training, job placement

OXFORD – A special project involving community leaders and volunteers has been working to focus attention on the chronically unemployed segment of the Granville County population.

          Serving as catalyst is the Granville County Community Foundation (GCCF), an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation. GCCF Board of Directors Chair Xavier L. Wortham, who also serves as executive director of the Oxford Housing Authority, has been involved for years in linking job training to job opportunities. For this project, he and the GCCF have reached out to business professionals, clergy, volunteers and state government officials to open the conversation of the importance of job training and job placement for people who may have a criminal record or have been habitually unemployed.

          “What our Granville County Community Foundation is doing is spearheading the effort to bring the community together to serve a need,” Wortham said. “We are addressing the issue of employing the unemployable.”

          Job training programs, including one offered through the Vance/Granville Community College and another through Cornerstone Christian Community Church, are at the center of the discussions among the committee members. They are touting components of both programs in an open letter to area employers to raise awareness about the availability of a prepared labor pool resulting from the job training.

          “The committee is acting as the author of this letter out of its concern that entry-level jobs for job training graduates will benefit not only local business, but the economic landscape of Granville County,” said Jeanne Lawson, regional associate at the North Carolina Community Foundation and committee member.

          Results are promising so far. Wortham cites construction projects and other work locally, both part- and full-time for program graduates. He and other members of the committee are scheduling visits to employers to hand-deliver the letter and talk further about the importance of saving some entry-level positions on a company’s roster for graduates of the programs.

          Convening community members over issues of local importance is part of a focused effort by the North Carolina Community Foundation. For more information e-mail Lawson at