U.S. Urban League leader to speak at Chattanooga fundraiser

U.S. Urban League leader to speak at Chattanooga fundraiser

September 25th, 2012 by Yolanda Putman in Business Around the Region

Francoise Cobb sits in the computer lab at the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga. Cobb used the lab to apply for a full-time job at Ryder.

Photo by Allison Love/Times Free Press.

Urban League Chief Executive Officer Marc Morial

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Francoise Cobb searched for a job for nearly two years before landing full-time employment.

She did it with help from the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga.

Cobb, a single mother of two, is one of 7,000 people a year the nonprofit has helped to find employment.

"We're looking at placing people in livable wage jobs," said Warren Logan, the Urban League's executive director.

Cobb was hired in August as a full-time data entry clerk for Ryder, a company that warehouses automobile parts for Volkswagen.

Employment assistance is only one of the services the Urban League is highlighting during its 30th anniversary celebration this year.

The agency also helps 300 to 400 students a year with its after-school programs and more than 3,000 people a year with its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, a free tax filing service.

The Urban League services will be spotlighted at its annual Equal Opportunity Day breakfast in October. Marc Morial, president of the national Urban League, will be the keynote speaker.

Morial has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential black Americans by Ebony magazine and one of the Top 50 nonprofit executives by Nonprofit Times.

The goal is to raise a minimum of $50,000 at the Equal Opportunity Day Dinner, said Logan.

The money will be used to purchase more updated robots for the Urban League's STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program, assist with training people for its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and to help sponsor workforce development, said Logan.

Several programs offered by the Urban League are facilitated by volunteers, but money still is necessary.

"We often use volunteers," said Logan. "But you can't use volunteers for everything."

Contact staff writer Yolanda Putman at yputman@timesfreepress.com or call 423-757-6431.