published Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Chattanooga: NAACP seeking info on hiring

by Dan Whisenhunt
  • photo
    Greg Beck

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County NAACP is asking the county for information about the number of blacks hired by companies that have received tax breaks.

Joe Rowe, the first vice president of the NAACP, said the NAACP sent the letter more than a week ago to county leaders.

“We have black people who are concerned they are unable to find jobs, especially in companies that have been expanding and growing, and our question is, ‘Have they been hiring and have they been hiring black people?’” Rowe said.

The county and city use tax breaks, known as payment in lieu of taxes agreements, to lure companies such as Volkswagen to the area.

Chairman Larry Henry said he’s seen the letter but said he isn’t sure if the county can provide the information the NAACP is looking for.

“I've been out to Volkswagen quite a bit,” Henry said. “They've got a fair share of minorities working out there. “I don't think it's really an issue we should be concerned about.”

Commissioner Greg Beck said he’d heard the NAACP might be requesting some information, but said his current focus is fighting crime.

He added that the issue might be worth investigating.

Contact staff writer Dan Whisenhunt at or 423-757-6481. Follow him on Twitter at

about Dan Whisenhunt...

Dan Whisenhunt covers Hamilton County government for the Times Free Press. A native of Mobile, Ala., Dan earned a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Alabama. He won first place for best in-depth news coverage in the 2010 Alabama Press Association contest; the FOI-First Amendment Award in the 2007 Alabama Press Association contest; first place for best public service story in the Alabama AP Managing Editors contest in 2009 for economic coverage; and ...

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Salsa said...

What about green eyed, left handed people? Shouldn't they have a hiring quota too?

March 30, 2011 at 4:05 p.m.
bluedagger said...

Shouldn't companies and government be more interested in hiring the most qualified people? What is it about we blacks that makes us so special? Why do we get a group like this? What would happen if whites had an equivalent of the NAACP? I hate this racist bunch of people...and I'm black. They should be more focused on solving the black on black crime problem. These haters don't represent me.

March 30, 2011 at 4:44 p.m.
sangaree said...

@bluedagger, there already is such a group. Many, to be in fact. One in particular is called the NAAWP. National Association for the Advancement of White People.

On the other hand, this same old argument has been going on since the 1960s and prior. What's needed is a new strategy. That new strategy could come about in the way of making sure young blacks know about all the training programs available to them. Get them prepared well ahead of time so no one can question their qualification or use their lack thereof to disqualify them from being hired.

Chattanooga State Community College has some wonderful vocational job training programs. Many without a GED can qualify for the training. Most of those who go through Chattanooga State Vocational training courses are hired by employers before they finish the training.

March 30, 2011 at 5:07 p.m.
Sailorman said...

sangaree - you should be ashamed of yourself - that isn't what he meant and you know it.

Your new strategy is a good one - would love to see the "young blacks" do exactly as you suggest. Gathering at Coolidge Park, for example, doesn't seem to be getting the job done.

March 30, 2011 at 5:24 p.m.
JessielouTN said...

While I think that Mr. Rowe is well intentioned, I think he just doesn't have his facts straight...Mr. Rowe, these are private sector jobs, not government jobs....Government can play the Affirmative Action game and hire countless minorities regardless of their talents and abilities since there are no expectations of productivity in government...In the private sector, most employers require traits like competence and ability--traits that might be foreign to you and those of your ilk that only know entitlements....A question....of the 40% of the population that you feel should simply be handed a job because of the color of their skin, what is the adjusted percentage after you factor in those that are a)unqualified/lacking the skills or ability to actually DO the job, b)unable to pass a criminal background and/or drug screening or c)unemployable due to an erratic work history?

March 30, 2011 at 5:32 p.m.
Echo said...

How exactly do tax breaks in exchange for private investment automatically translate into an entitlement for blacks? This should be a concern of taxpayers, not a group focused solely on race.

If Jim Rowe were entitled to such information and it indicates a higher percentage of blacks working at such a company than the percentage of blacks that pay taxes, and therefore non-black tax payers are underrepresented, would Jim Rowe advocate these black workers being replaced by non-blacks?

March 30, 2011 at 10:17 p.m.
hambone said...

hotdog, your setting s real good example for your race!

March 30, 2011 at 11:12 p.m.
MasterChefLen said...

Regarding Salsa's comment, "green eyed, left handed people" get a quota, we need to make sure that hazel eyed, right handed people are not discriminated against. Perhaps Rev. Jessie Jackson can come to Chattanooga and shake down some more companies like does whenever the spot light gets too far away from him. He can bring his full-time protest crew as well.

March 31, 2011 at 12:21 a.m.
MasterChefLen said...

hotdog, your command and fluentness of the English language is quite impressive! I can tell that you were probably an English language Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. When can we expect your next book either in the book store or on Amazon? Please do not keep us waiting long.

March 31, 2011 at 12:33 a.m.
dao1980 said...

You truly are a looser... in the game of life.

March 31, 2011 at 8:14 a.m.
dao1980 said...

Remember this hothead.. er I mean notdog, you don't know what color my skin is. And all the silly racist name calling in the world does not accomplish anything but making yourself look even more ridiculous with each post.

I have an ever growing suspicion that you are not this character that you have continually insisted that you are.

You may actually be someone trying to make black people look bad by acting this way in a public forum.

I have searched for your business online, and it does not exist. The only "Mobile 1 Auto Repair" that I have found in that area is owned by Kevin Mcqueen, according to the BBB as of this month of this year. Does he know that you are claiming ownership of his business?

No, I'm just not sure that I can believe any of this. You are too funny to be real, and too entertaining for "entertainment" not to actually be your purpose.

March 31, 2011 at 3:43 p.m.
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