Incomes for Black and Latino families in Arapahoe County are increasing at a higher rate than any other county in the Denver Metro area
Arapahoe/Douglas Works! releases report that reveals incomes for Black families rose by more than 38% from 2015 to 2020, and incomes for Latino families increased by 44.9% during the same time period.
“This growth outpaced that of all families in the Denver Metro region, and the national average,” said Suzie Miller, Workforce Programs Administrator at Arapahoe/Douglas Works!.
Asked what factors may have contributed to the growth, Miller said it is a systemic approach using partnerships with businesses, schools, and nonprofits.
“It really is that collaboration across government and economic development partners that contributes to reducing that wage disparity,” Miller said.
Jesse Elston is one person who benefitted from those resources with A/D Works!.
He lost his librarian career two years ago due to substance abuse.
“That’s what got me into a situation where I became justice-involved, when I was justice-involved, I could not find positions,” Elston said.
He worked odd jobs for a while, but when he turned to A/D Works!, he says that’s when everything changed. The agency was able to set him up with an apprenticeship for a nonprofit. That opportunity later opened the door for him to get a new, higher-paying job with an organization called Breakthrough, which helps people getting out of prison transition back into society.
He offered this advice for anyone looking for work: “keep your higher power ahead of you, and just continue to work hard, be positive, and reach out to organizations like A/D Works!, because they believe in you, and you should believe in the organization, as well, because they will set you up in a position, where you can get training and you can forward in your life and make more money.”
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