GOV. CORBETT should be ashamed of himself for suggesting that the people of Pennsylvania aren't working because they can't pass employers' drug tests. It's an asinine assumption with little basis in fact, and it clearly shows how out of touch the governor is with the people of Pennsylvania who are struggling because they cannot find gainful employment.
Recently, my office sponsored a job fair at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in which an estimated 3,000 people began lining up before the doors opened at 10 a.m. for a chance to speak with 56 employers.
Overcome by the overwhelming response, I walked a line that stretched about two blocks, and I shook hands, talked to people, apologized for the long wait, handed out bottled water and assured them all that everyone would get inside.
They were old, young, black, white, Latino and Asian. They were dropouts, high-school grads and degreed individuals, and they had come from Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Lancaster, Norristown and even from other states. Many dressed in their Sunday best and carried their resumes in-hand. A good number said that this was the first time that they had ever been without work. Some yelled at a newspaper photographer who snapped pictures - ashamed to be captured standing in a line for people seeking employment. I had never seen anything like this, and this was the sixth job fair I had sponsored as either a state representative or a city councilman.
People continued to arrive by car and on free buses we had sponsored to help them get to the fair. We eventually ordered the buses to stop picking up people - concerned that we would not be able to accommodate them all.
Meanwhile, inside the job fair, employers packed up early because they had run out of job applications, handouts and other materials to give job seekers. Through all of it, job seekers maintained their places in line.
I saw people of different kinds and color - people who were prepared and determined to stand in a long line for as long as it took to get face time with a prospective employer. I saw people who packed seminars on how to improve their résumés and interview well.
These are the people who more than likely represent the majority. These are the people Gov. Corbett insulted. These are the people to whom Corbett owes an apology.
Councilman Kenyatta Johnson