Home WORLD AFRICA Unemployment and underemployment are the main challenges for black men in Windsor

Unemployment and underemployment are the main challenges for black men in Windsor


Windsor’s black male category is a forgotten group, says the professor at the University of Windsor.

Ms. Omorodion also notes that nearly 24% of men were either unemployed or underemployed. That’s almost triple the region’s general unemployment rate, which is around 8%, she says.

Francisca Omorodion has found during her research that the phenomenon affects black men, even those who have graduated from local universities.

A lot of them, when they graduate from the University of Windsor, for example, they end up working in a call center … or sometimes in tomato fields. Some of them get into food delivery, noted Ms. Omorodion.

Difficult to find a job in his field

Windsor resident Dismas Nzeyimana

Windsor resident Dismas Nzeyimana

Photo: Grudeness

Being an immigrant who had different qualifications, I went through the same experience, where the doors were open, but which did not match my qualifications, it is a bitter observation., explains Dismas Nzeyimana, who has lived in Windsor for almost four years.

Mr. Nzeyimana, noted that recruitment agencies often offer black men difficult jobs, most often in factories.

Sometimes you quit. You are tired. You don’t have that Canadian experience of working on your feet for more than 12 hours. Sometimes they fire you because you are not productive. You find yourself at home, he says.

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Another member of the black community in Windsor, Kenny Gbadebo, 69, has experienced unemployment and underemployment during his career. In his opinion, Windsor-Essex offers fewer opportunities for black men.

[Les agences de placement] will only relegate you to menial jobs. And I’m sorry … I can’t do this anymore, he said.

A certain discouragement

Mr. Nzeyimana is discouraged. He even thinks that going back to school will in no way change things.

The famous adage adequacy-training-employment, it is not the style of Windsor

A quote from Windsor resident Dismas Nzeyimana

Brian McCurdy has a Masters Degree in Kinesiology and years of CFL experience with the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats. But an impressive CV did not allow him to find a suitable job. The job market in Windsor is not easy for men like him, he says.

On a few occasions, I have used an employment service which did not really take into account my experience or my level of education. And which probably direct you in most cases to service jobs, manufacturing jobs, he explains.

Having dual American and Canadian citizenship, Brian McCurdy finds he is more likely to have a good job across the border. In Detroit, education and work experience are taken into consideration.

On the other side of the border, I am more easily accepted. People consider your experience and background to be more of value and they treat you accordingly. You are therefore assessed differently when you go for an interview., he notes.

Attempts at solutions

Professor Omorodion intends to improve the situation by organizing a series of employment workshops aimed specifically at African, black and Caribbean men.

Kenny Gbadebo, on the other hand, calls on young people to find a better life elsewhere, especially in big cities like Toronto.

Don’t stay here unless you want menial jobs that don’t even relate to what you do in school, he believes.

Ms. Omorodion is teaming up with colleagues and community members to help improve employment prospects for Black men in Windsor-Essex.

She will present workshops that will equip some 250 African, Caribbean and black men with the skills they need to land a job in their field.

Ms. Omorodion received a federal grant of $ 50,000. The workshops will begin in January, with a community forum.

Such a program was long overdue, she said, as there are currently no other community resources specifically aimed at helping black men in Windsor.

With information from CBC.

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