By Tim Pulliam

April 20, 2022

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) — A new economic initiative to improve access to jobs for Black workers is called One Ten.

The group hosted a town hall on Wednesday focused on finding passion in your work and connecting people who don’t have a college degree to good-paying jobs.

Durham Mayor Elaine O’Neal spoke on the group’s panel, saying the greatest barrier to quality jobs for some in the Bull City is actually getting there.

“We’re beginning to make a decision about commuter rail that will connect Raleigh to Durham to Orange County,” O’Neal said. “in the meantime, we are taking a closer look at our bus transportation systems.”

But One Ten, the group hosting Wednesday’s “Let’s Talk about Jobs” panel, said the overall challenge is racial disparities in educational achievement and a stunning racial wealth gap.

Dr. Henry McKoy is a Professor of Entrepreneurship at NCCU and the founder of the economic development group Hayti Reborn. His organization is assisting with One Ten’s efforts.

“We still think education is incredibly important but in this situation, there are so many jobs that could be reclassified,” said McKoy. “Most places you go to get jobs, they train you on what they want you to do anyway. What jobs can we reclassify that allow people who don’t have four-year degrees to enter into it.”