Friday, Aug. 4, 2017 | 2 a.m.
An organizer for the group that drew people to July’s Las Vegas Stadium Authority meeting with a flyer advertising jobs admitted Thursday the ad was “a little misleading” but defended its intent.
Freda Jackson collaborates with community activist Stanley Washington, the author of the flyer that attracted more than 1,000 people to downtown Las Vegas last month with an advertisement of “JOBS!!! JOBS!!! JOBS!!!” in its headline. No jobs were available, leaving many frustrated outside the Clark County Government Center on a sweaty July afternoon.
“The flyer was a little misleading, but it was never mentioned that it was a job fair,” Jackson said, referring to it as a recruitment strategy for a job training program. “It was never anything fraudulent.”
In a new flyer, Jackson and Washington promoted this week a Saturday event at Cashman Theater at which job seekers would pay a $2 entry fee and $5 parking fee to attend a “job readiness” training. Jackson said Thursday that the event was postponed until Aug. 10, while a media release prepared by Washington continued his ongoing assault against the authority and the Raiders.
State Sen. Aaron Ford, the legislative point man on the community benefits agreement required by stadium funding mechanism Senate Bill 1, issued a statement in response to Thursday’s Sun article highlighting the new flyer. Ford emphasized that job fairs related to stadium hiring are not happening yet and will not cost any money.
“As was agreed to and made law with the passage of SB1, all community groups, from veterans to African-Americans to Hispanics among others, will have access to a variety of jobs in the construction and operation of the stadium,” Ford said. “The details of that agreement are presently being negotiated. When we are in fact ready to host a job fair, rest assured that it will be very well publicized, and access to this job fair will be free of charge. We look forward to announcing those details together when we are ready to begin the hiring process.”
Ford said last week that he continues to discuss parameters of a potential community benefits agreement with Raiders representatives but declined to go into detail about those negotiations. The agreement is intended to make sure underserved communities participate in all aspects of the $1.9 billion stadium that received $750 million in public funding.
“What I anticipate is that those diverse interests will be intimately involved in advising a committee that will oversee the implementation of the community benefits agreement,” Ford said.
SB1 requires the stadium authority board to appoint that committee, which has not happened yet. The agreement must be in place by October to meet the authority’s self-imposed deadline, as stadium construction needs to begin by the end of the year to meet a July 2020 opening date.
Jackson said she spoke with Ford and authority board member Ken Evans after the July incident, and both felt the flyer misled potential job seekers. She said her group collected 1,100 interest cards in July and 60 percent of those people are not “job-ready” because they need a GED or other training.