The great consumers

Special to The Dallas Examiner | 10/14/2013, 10:53 a.m.

The Dallas Examiner

African Americans’ buying power is approximately $1 trillion annually.

Three years ago the National Newspaper Publishers Association entered into a partnership with Nielsen to study the buying habits of the African American consumer. A couple of weeks ago, at the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, D.C., I attended a press conference held by the partnering groups to unveil their third study of the African American consumer.

The combined Nielsen and NNPA resources have galvanized corporations and consumers alike to think and behave differently toward valuing the African American consumer and their economic impact on the U.S. marketplace. Nielsen and NNPA are proud to present the Resilient, Receptive and Relevant African American Consumer 2013 Report.

The NNPA consists of approximately 150 Black-owned and operated newspapers in the United States and is often referred to as the Black Press. It is 73 years old and is committed to telling the stories of Black people. We are the voice of Black people.

Inserted in this issue of The Dallas Examiner is a 4-page summary of the report, however, the full report can be viewed on The Dallas Examiner website at http://www.dallasexaminer.com. I encourage you to read it.

During the D.C. press conference, a presenter encouraged African Americans to read the report carefully and find out what companies support the African American community. Companies that do not support our community – those that are obviously absent from the list of supporters but who African Americans still spend millions of dollars with – should not continue to be supported by our hard-earned dollars.

Instead, we need to concentrate our efforts to patronize companies and organizations that build up our community and the people in it.

The Urban League of Greater Dallas has a campaign to raise $10.8 million to build a Trades/Technical Skills Training Center that will be the first technical certification facility and program in the entire Southern Sector of Dallas. According to the Urban League, the new facility will address the area’s need to create a pool of skilled workers.

According to information provided by the Dallas Office of Economic Development, employment statistics indicate that Southern Dallas has a population of 521,043 with a median income of $34,845. The city of Dallas as a whole – 1.2 million residents – has a median income of over $40,809. The current unemployment rate in Dallas is 7.3 percent citywide, and over 8.6 percent in Southern Dallas. And, according to the Urban League, unemployment among youth 18 to 25 in Southern Dallas is over 20 percent. Skilled trades and technical training will enable individuals to secure good paying jobs and provide financial stability.

In recent years, there has been a decline in the number of licensed and certified trade’s persons; yet the demand for employees skilled in the trades remains high. In 2008, Texas State Comptroller Susan Combs informed a group of Texas Publishers Association members that the demand for skilled workers in Texas exceeds the supply, resulting in a possibility that employers may reduce operations or move to other states with a larger pool of skilled labor.