Need a job? Drive-thru job fair to offer hundreds of positions | AJC

Need a job? Drive-thru job fair to offer hundreds of positions | AJC

Need a job? Drive-thru job fair to offer hundreds of positions | AJC

More than 20 employers are looking to fill hundreds of jobs and are making the interview process as safe and easy as possible.

Jobseekers will have the opportunity to meet employers from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday at the Infinite Energy Center Parking Deck during a Better Work Gwinnett drive-thru job fair. The jobs are available in various industries and levels, and pay could range anywhere from $10 to $35 an hour depending on the position…

Better Work Gwinnett is a project born during the pandemic by the Gwinnett Workforce Initiative. The initiative is a collaboration between the nonprofit Georgia Center for Opportunity and several other organizations with a goal of placing people in jobs.

With about 30,000 jobless people in Gwinnett County, the initiative hopes to lower this number and fill 6,000 positions over the next three years by connecting jobseekers with employers, said Jace Brooks, director of the initiative.

Drive-Thru Job Fair Comes to Gwinnett

Drive-Thru Job Fair Comes to Gwinnett

Drive-Thru Job Fair Comes to Gwinnett

job fair

Drive-Thru Job Fair Comes to Gwinnett 

The current pandemic has made a massive impact on America’s workforce and wreaked havoc on certain business sectors. While we’re beginning to see a dip in the number of active COVID-19 cases around the country, parts of the economy are still in desperate need of finding workers. Until recently in-person meetings have been known to be the most effective way of engaging potential job seekers with jobs, but they’re not feasible in today’s environment of social distancing. Instead, organizations like Better Work Gwinnett are finding creative ways – like a drive-thru job fair – to connect businesses with job seekers.

We are excited to announce the Better Work Gwinnett Drive-Thru Job Fair on Thursday, April 1st at the Infinite Energy Center Parking Deck.

This event will connect job seekers with hundreds of full and part time jobs. Businesses will have booths set up around the ramp of the parking garage allowing job seekers to drop off resumes and learn more about each organization. Job seekers will also be able to collect information and engage with potential employers – all from their cars.  

The job fair is a result of a community collaboration among GCO, Goodwill of North Georgia, First Step Staffing, Lawrenceville Response Center, and WorkFaith – all Gwinnett County based organizations. Working together with a common goal of strengthening the community, the Gwinnett Coalition combines local resources to provide training and support services to help job seekers find meaningful work and businesses to gain valuable employees. 

For most people a job is more than a paycheck, but also provides purpose and dignity to everyday life. Unfortunately, there has been a steady rise in unemployment rates in the Gwinnett County area. Gwinnett County’s current unemployment hoovers at about five percent, which is on par with Georgia’s overall unemployment rate of 5.3 percent

“The global pandemic is impacting our neighbors,” said GCO’s Director of the Gwinnett Workforce Initiative, Jace Brooks. “When the pandemic started, Gwinnett County saw thousands of residents out of work, many of them faced housing and food insecurity. A drive-thru job fair will allow job seekers the ability to connect with potential employers while still practicing social distancing and safe health regulations. It’s been great to see local groups working together in such harmony for the good of the community. We know the job fair will be beneficial to our local residents, businesses, and economy.” 

The pandemic has produced a vanishing supply of skilled labor, and the growing local market’s demand is outpacing the supply of workers. Drive-thru job fairs in other areas have been largely successful for filling positions in various industries like, administrative, utilities, manufacturing, and warehouse work. 

To register to participate as a job-seeker, volunteer, or business click here. 



Need a job? Drive-thru job fair to offer hundreds of positions | AJC

39 Renowned Policy Groups Urge U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Buckeye’s Case to End Forced Union Exclusive Representation | BUCKEYE INSTITUTE

39 Renowned Policy Groups Urge U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Buckeye’s Case to End Forced Union Exclusive Representation | BUCKEYE INSTITUTE

Thirty-nine renowned public policy organizations have filed amicus briefs with the United States Supreme Court in support of The Buckeye Institute’s case, Thompson v. Marietta Education Association (MEA), which calls for an immediate end to laws that force public-sector employees to accept a union’s exclusive representation…

The multi-organization brief was led by Alaska Policy Forum and included co-amici Americans for Fair Treatment, Association of American Educators, Center of the American Experiment, Citizen Action Defense Fund, Commonwealth Foundation, Empire Center for Public Policy, Inc., Georgia Center for Opportunity, Illinois Policy Institute, Independence Institute, James Madison Institute, John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy, John Locke Foundation, Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, Landmark Legal Foundation, Mackinac Center for Public Policy,…

Benefiting Low-Wage Workers without Minimum Wage Laws

Benefiting Low-Wage Workers without Minimum Wage Laws

Benefiting Low-Wage Workers without Minimum Wage Laws

3 female waitresses

Strategies to help everyone

If it is a bad idea to raise the minimum wage, or even have a minimum wage law to begin with, where does this leave the low-wage worker?

We already examined the empirical evidence showing that minimum wage laws reduce employment among the groups the laws are intended to help. (If you missed it, check out my blog.)

We also looked at the negative impact on small business—that most important job-creation engine. (Check out this blog.)

Now we want to know what we can do to help low wage workers. 

A job is better than no job 

True. Some workers earning a minimum wage will find themselves better off with a law that increases their pay. However, millions others will be hurt. Some are harmed because their hours might be reduced. Worse, many others will not be able to find a job or lose their job. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted this number will be 1.4 million people if the federal $15 minimum wage proposal becomes law. 

If you cannot find a job or lose your job, you are not better off. This is especially true for workers starting out in the labor force. They learn things on the job that they cannot learn in a classroom or at home. 

They learn the all-important soft skills required to function in the workplace, such as getting along with coworkers, meeting expectations, and showing up on time prepared for work.

Importantly, they also begin building their net worth. At a minimum, they do this by putting away for their future with contributions—matched by their employer—to Social Security and Medicare. 

No minimum wage law does not mean no standard

The minimum wage is an arbitrary number with little meaningful relationship to the particulars of a specific job. The United States has nearly 6 million business firms with 7.9 million establishments in thousands of industries in over 3,000 counties, according to the Economic Census. Each has its own characteristics in terms of expectations, skills, and pay.

One of my first jobs was in a machine shop. I still recall how the employer misrepresented the minimum wage when he hired me. He tried passing it off as a pay level sanctioned by the federal government. I did not buy it and was offered higher pay. Later I learned others in the shop fell for his ruse—and were receiving just the minimum wage. 

If we would eliminate the minimum wage law, then low-wage workers would look to other standards reflective of the job and industry. 

Think of Kelley Blue Book that helps consumers know the value of a car. There are also companies—like PayScale—helping job seekers know what to expect in terms of pay.  Moreover, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics conducts 12 surveys on pay and benefits—including wage data for over 800 occupations by area—that can be used as guidance. 

It would be better for workers to have knowledge about pay scales based on real factors than rely on arbitrary and artificial standards set by government law.  

The Success Sequence provides an outline of how to reverse the cycle of poverty in our communities. GCO uses this as a framework for much of our work.

Career ladders and skill sets

The Georgia Center for Opportunity works with community groups helping job seekers link with employers. Setting career goals, understanding the skill requirements of various occupations, and having realistic expectations of pay are all important components of putting together a plan to help job seekers grow in their career and compensation.

These plans are what will help them the most if they are stuck in a minimum wage job. It gives them a plan of action on how to meet their goals. It also helps employers who often complain they can’t find good help with the skill sets they really need. This solution involves working with individuals on a one-on-one basis. 

It also takes time—there is no magic button to push. However, in the end, it will be a win-win situation for both workers and employers. Raising the minimum wage is a win-lose situation—some people will win, but many others, including the overall economy, will lose.

Understanding the needs of employers in the labor market also requires us to do a better job at education in preparing our children for their future. As research has shown, giving parents more choices improves the quality of education—and will ultimately benefit our children and society. 

We need to stop coming up with solutions that help some people at the expense of others. It makes little sense to damage the entrance ramp to employment in order to increase the pay for just some workers. Or for the government to have an inflation policy that hurts the poor the most, which I pointed out in this blog

Instead, let’s focus our attention on solutions that help everyone. If you have comments, especially on what are the best solutions, we would love to hear from you. Be sure to post them in the comments.


*Erik Randolph is Director of Research at the Georgia Center for Opportunity. This blog reflects his opinion and not necessarily that of the Georgia Center for Opportunity.


Why the Minimum Wage is Bad News for Small Business

Why the Minimum Wage is Bad News for Small Business

Why the Minimum Wage is Bad News for Small Business


Why that’s bad for everyone else, and how raising costs can have disastrous economic consequences.

In a prior blog, I explained how empirical research supports the side of the debate asserting negative consequences due to minimum wage laws. Now we’ll look under the hood to understand more why this might be the case.

After the stock market crash of 1929—yes, I’m taking you back that far—President Herbert Hoover rolled into action to get the U.S. economy out of the recession that would become the Great Depression. Among his activities were efforts to boost prices and wages, including White House conferences to cajole business leaders to maintain wage rates. 

His successor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, went further to promote higher prices and wages, especially with the Wagner Act intended to strengthen labor unions and the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) that established a system of industry cartels that regulated, among other things, wages and prices. 

In 1935, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the NIRA. In response, the minimum wage became a platform issue for his 1936 reelection campaign, and FDR succeeded in getting a federal minimum wage of 25¢ per hour in 1938.

Economists seemingly agree on little, but one thing they do agree on is that the policies of Hoover and Roosevelt did nothing to get the U.S. out of the Great Depression. Keep this history in mind when you hear advocates who want to raise the minimum wage. 

Importance of small business

Small businesses are at the heart of the American economy. They are a major engine of prosperity and job growth, enriching society and helping to spread wealth at a time when economic disparities are receiving more attention. 

Examples of small businesses are too many to list but include your local restaurant, hair salon, construction firm, dentist, bakery, and small-town law firm. It also includes many franchisees who may own your local McDonald’s, Subway, UPS store, hardware store, senior home care service, or handyman service. 


worker and coin stacks

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration

  • There were 31.7 million small businesses in the U.S. in 2017.
  • They employed 60.6 million people, or 47.1 percent of the private workforce in 2018. 
  • That number included 4.2 million self-employed persons of color.

Small businesses created 1.6 million net jobs in 2019.

Not all about profits

Also according to the Small Business Administration, there were 249,000 business start-ups creating 863,000 new jobs in 2018. However, those gains were partially offset by 222,000 businesses shutting down, taking 762,000 jobs with them. 

This comparison is a good way of exposing a common myth about economics: It is not all about profits. It is also about losses. 

If you took an economics course in college or high school, you probably found yourself spending time looking at the impact of losses and how much a business can lose before it must shut down.

What it takes to run a small business 

Running a small business is hard. It requires dedication, resources, and daily decisions to keep operations viable without the benefit of an array of professional managers and departments that large businesses typically have. When a small business owner makes a mistake, he takes a direct hit. If the mistake is large enough, it could threaten his or her livelihood.

Politicians, on the other hand, can make a policy mistake impacting business, but they do not take a direct hit. Because every business is different, it is impossible for politicians to know what it takes for every type of business to stay viable and make a profit. Yet changes in government regulations, taxes, and wage laws can have devastating impacts on businesses.

The ability of businesses to withstand changes in minimum wage laws depends on the circumstances of the business and their profitability. It is naive to assume that every business relying on low-cost labor would be able to pay its employees more just because the government mandates them to do so. 

Many businesses operate on thin profit margins. If their costs go up, they may substitute technology for labor, if they can, which naturally and unfortunately results in workers losing their jobs. 

Worse, the business may have to shut down. It makes no sense to expect businesses to continue operating if they are losing money. Many small business owners who shut down may need to find a job themselves or risk landing in poverty. This helps no one, least of all the laid-off employees.

Final warnings

Beware of large corporations like Amazon or Walmart who might support minimum wage laws. It could be because they see it as a way to drive out competition from small mom and pop businesses.

Forcing small businesses to raise wages, especially after they sustained a financial hit from a pandemic, only promises to weaken an all-important job growth engine for the U.S. economy at a time when we need to bolster the small business sector and get the economy rolling again. This strategy of mandating wage increases certainly did not work out well during the Great Depression. There is no good reason to think it will work now.

So, what do our state and national legislators need to be doing? They need to concentrate on getting the economic job engine revving up again, and this is done by finding ways to reduce costs for businesses (not raising them), making it easier for entrepreneurs to start their own businesses (not making it harder), and making sure the financial markets are working properly so small businesses can access much-needed funds.

Where does all this leave the worker stuck in a low-wage job? Stay tuned. I’ll answer that question in my next blog. 


*Erik Randolph is Director of Research at the Georgia Center for Opportunity. This blog reflects his opinion and not necessarily that of the Georgia Center for Opportunity.


Clock ticks as feds threaten to remove work requirement from Georgia’s partial Medicaid expansion | HENRY HERALD

Clock ticks as feds threaten to remove work requirement from Georgia’s partial Medicaid expansion | HENRY HERALD

The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) could decide in a matter of weeks whether it will remove the work or activity requirement in Georgia’s partial Medicaid expansion plan.

The CMS said the plan, which was approved by former President Donald Trump’s administration in October, does not “promote the objectives of the Medicaid program” and would be impossible to accomplish because of the COVID-19 pandemic…

In a statement released Friday, the nonprofit Georgia Center for Opportunity (GCO) said CMS’ decision could lead to court battles, leaving the thousands of Georgians who stand to get coverage under the program in a lurch.

“Instead of using our resources and time to bicker before the courts, we should apply them to seek out the best ways to improve people’s lives,” said Erik Randolph, GCO’s director of research. “[Georgia Pathways] is based on the idea of helping adults escape poverty, plain and simple. It will propel them into situations where they have better opportunities and more resources for health coverage, such as through affordable individual markets or employed-based coverage.”