Facilitator

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FEATURES 6 Unemployed at age 50 8

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs… Next Steps

10 The Value Within Our Communities 12

A Good Father

DEPARTMENTS 4

Editor’s Corner:

16 Images of Life— It Does Matter

17 In the Zone

All artwork created by artist Anthony Crudup www.mirhez.org

OUR VISION

The goal of this magazine is to facilitate conversations using content aimed at fostering discussion about issues and their perceived impact on families and communities.

Editor: Andrew Crudup Production Coordinator: Designer: Mirhez Publishing Information is correct at press time. Check www.mirhez.com/publishing for updates. The Facilitator published monthly by Mirhez publishing a 168 Fairmount Ave. Signed Articles do not necessarily reflect the official company policy. 2011 Mirhez Publishing All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or whole without permission is prohibited. Editorial publishing and advertising offices: 168 Fairmount Avenue, Newark New Jersey 07083. Subscription and correspondences about subscriptions, undelivered copies and address changes to: Mirhez Publishing

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What Happened……… Twenty One years ago I wound down a military career, looking forward to a stint in corporate America leading teams tasked with building applications that would transform business….. Eighteen years ago I managed thirty contractors working in five fortune 500 companies transforming business processes into productive collaborative cultures extracting value from this newly packaged resource called a “data warehouse”……… Thirteen years ago, my youngest child is off to college; retirement is in view and I can see light at the end of a 30 year tunnel. Finally I will get to see this beautiful blue marble and sprint off into my golden years, proud of my accomplishments, financially set, comfortable, blessed with a great and wonderful family, thanking God for my great health and fortune. Then ………….

My biggest challenge would be courage in the midst of change. I had to learn not to be afraid of criticism and to embrace difference. Deciding I was too young for retirement and still possessed some desire to contribute and serve, reinventing myself was not only necessary but mandatory. Strengths that could contribute to this rework included my work experience, great intellect, health and business acumen. Weaknesses include perceived inability due to age, limited capital, lack of courage to engage and resources. After sending out many resumes extolling to perspective employers the value in hiring me I knew traditional routes to employment were fleeting. Given the environment, my best chance at success resides in the ability to reinvent myself demonstrating value for these times. The greatest product I have to offer is ingenuity and experience. Unlike outdated airplanes flown to the bone yard to watch the sun set, I am still too young to be put out to pasture. My motor works well, my accessories are still functioning and I can still ignite the afterburners when needed.

September 2008 Wall Street implodes. Some of the biggest companies in America go bankrupt, Congress looses it head, Congressional members feud over abstract ideological concepts while the wealth of the midThis led me to Mirhez Publishing and the Facilidle class is stolen. Companies are laying off in massive tator Magazine. My attempt to create value by passing numbers to preserve profit. In the same year Americans on to the world some of the “pearls of wisdom” accumuelect the first African-American president (yeah!) and lated over the last 30 plus years in the workforce. there is an optimism that all will be good. There is a whole generation who grew up on January 2010, the business division within the company slogans like “Just Do It” and I figure I could provide where I’m working downsizes and is sold off; Unemsome value born in life concepts like citizenship, inployed I went back to school in an attempt to improve volved parenting, community cohesion, and civic remy pedigree; I obtain my third degree; I decided to sponsibility. start a small Technology consulting firm. My prayer for the upcoming issues of this magMy vision for retirement just a couple of years ago azine is for God to anoint the contributors offerings with (traveling the big blue marble) has gone the way of the the ability to stave off any doom born from division, ofdodo bird…. fense, civic apathy and individualism. Today At home I find myself saying goodbye to my In the mean time I hope the readers receive former life and deciding to take on this new season, a value from within its covers and appreciate the work season filled with creative pursuits and self expression. involved in creating the articles, storytelling, and illustrations made from love. In an attempt to make this change work I cut down on the usual amenities (playing golf, going to ballgames), stop going to the movies, and learn how to make several variations of great dinner dishes featuring ramen noodles, mixed vegetables, and frankfurters. Analyzing changes over the last decade, I realized my life needed some sprucing up if am to receive the harvest from the gifts God put in me.

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Drew Crudup

Editor


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By M. Hunter

As Americans we are conditioned, based on process, that the solution to many of our problems begins at the end of a line. It is so routine that by the time we are age 50, this becomes a common reflex when there is a sign of a problem. A medical problem a line at the doctors office problem with the car a line at the repair shop,

problem with a utility a line at the utility company. Although we may not physically be standing in line all the time, our search for resolution is often stacked against others in a similar predicament ; In effect, placing us in a situation-based line waiting for a result. This is the same reflex we undergo when we find ourselves laid off and searching for a job. Immediately we head for job fares, career centers only to find that frustrating line.

in your target companies. (d) Be prepared to demonstrate your talents. Practice it! People in this age group have experienced a lot during their work history. Possessing knowledge and skills which may be what the doctor ordered for the prospective company. Using research build a routine of answering questions that will highlights this crucial experience. The second line is ; Your own product or service line (reinvent yourself) Create a line of potential customers for your phenomenal product or service.

Recently I read an article about Apple Computer Company founder Steve Jobs. In it he talks about when he was released by Apple (fired). He goes on in the article discussing how the firing was the best thing that ever happened to him because it forced him to reevaluate himself, setting the stage for his For some, based on their circumstances and genius to emerge. Imagine Steve Jobs going to work attributes, this makes sense, for others the remedy is for Microsoft or any other technology company. (I not found standing in line. For this group remedies can’t) are found through the establishment of a line of a difOften genius is found when we are removed from ferent sort.—a line of possibility— A line where othour comfort zones and forced to take a position beers seek your solution or product. This article is a yond standing in the “proverbial line.” The genius we commentary on creating this type of line when are searching for emerges because we know the risk searching for a job. we’re taking is a big one. One where there is a lot When the job search lines are long and cirriding on the outcomes. In cases like these extra cumstances challenging there are two types of lines care is taken to ensure everything is in place. A spejobseekers should create. The first line involves; cial measure of due-diligence is needed. For me this is a good way to be. In this mode you will find you Lining up potential employers - Creating a line for make very few mistakes and the results produced are potential employers who need your lifetime of skills something to be proud of. Its times like these when and wisdom to turn their failing processes into propast experience supplies the knowledge to imagine ductive ones. You do this by : dependable solutions needed to make it through, (a) Evaluating your strengths and weaknesses and whether it is for another company or your own. drilling down on how you could transform proSo if you find yourself at age 50 or older, unspective company’s into winners. employed, don’t be dismayed. You are in good com(b) Sizing up companies that have a demand for your pany and there are many examples of those who skills. Do some research and find out how close made it while encountering similar circumstances. they are to “Turning the lights off” and form a Remember no matter how you arrived here, strategy on how you can improve their profityour are here! Make the best of your experiences. making ability. The road you traveled taught many valuable lessons, (c) Engineer ways to get an audience with hiring use them! managers at the companies on your list to Good Luck.! demonstrate your genius. Usually you or someone you know has a relationship with someone

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This article was written in 2010 lieve that corporate America and the rich holds the keys to job creation. Nonsense! The way back to prosperity is through empowering communities and its entrepreneurs. We have great diversity, with great ideas. We just need to stop the bickering about whose to blame for the slow economy and lack of jobs. Something to consider

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs; Next Steps…….

Prosperity begins with putting people back to work immediately. We must create markets locally that increase demand for goods and services which in-turn will spur job growth. Right now leadership in communities across America should be querying brain trust for ideas related to needs. Key needs within core areas, like infrastructure, energy, health care and education.

within the community and brainstorm possibilities of creating organizations and industry that will spur job growth. - Pick from a select group and provide skills and management education with the expectation that those selected will contribute to a service commitment within the community for a predetermined period. Not everyone is cut out for college, but there are those who can be educated in a non-traditional environment to handle and manage specialized repetitive tasks. - Set up community brain trust and angel investors to initiate and find projects with a goal of identifying promising projects and provide capital to fund these projects with the expressed purpose of creating community jobs.

Other considerations include receiving assis- Most important is the fact this activity must tance (not rejection) from government (local start now. Americas businesses are sitting on money. Identify critical projects locally and federal) that will create regulation to; and allocate resources immediately. Deter- Assess and only allow market access mine critical components, dependencies, to businesses willing to participate in and paths to accomplishment. Allocate and Today there are many able-body balanced trade people searching for jobs to make ends distribute funds to viable local projects now - Regulates banks and other lending meet. Gone are the boom days of the without delay! The equation goes like this; institutions to participate in fair lend1990’s, the internet boom and the blossoming housing markets in the 2000’s where ing practices and release (lend) Jobs + consumer confidence = millions were employed. Our economy has cheap money to small businesses growing markets , greater tax revenue & shed jobs and along with them wealth. To and entrepreneurs reduced deficits date it appears we are at a loss for how to - Explore policies and practices that The quicker we get people back to work, the get them back. keeps jobs and money in the local easier it will be on all of us communities and does not allow Lately many blame the Obama adtransfer of jobs to other countries ministration and its stewardship over the - Punish US corporations who were economy. But the truth is, we have entered into a global marketplace and are competing created in this country, benefit from for markets against countries who a couple our markets, but do not pay their fair decades ago did not possess the skills to share in taxes compete. Unless we creatively figure out how to compete on this stage, generate local Our leaders should stop blaming the US markets and compete in markets within the Congress and the President and focus on growing world economies, the prosperity we collaborative policies (public-to-private) that; experienced a couple of decades ago may never return. - Provide on-the-job training (when posWe are experiencing a job creation stalemate because of gridlock at the local, state and federal levels , founded on the belief that job creation starts with benefits to the rich and an ideological desire to immediately cut the federal deficit . The problem in the US is political gridlock and the blame game leveraged by politician and community leaders. This will not create jobs. We are brainwashed to be-

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sible) of task to willing job seekers in critical labor situations when there are not enough laborers in labor pools with a critical skill. This training should be pulled from local resources first before providing opportunity to resources outside of the local area. - Seek community collaboration from successful businessmen and woman


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This article was written in 2010

Recently while lounging in my living room I was watching the India and other countries pourlocal news and there was a story about the rates of joblessness and its effect on our community. According to the story companies were having a difficult time finding candidates with the skills sought. The story had me wondering whether or not my vast experiences would be valuable in this situation. With the recent challenges associated with the biggest job loss and unemployment in a generation an examination of my skills and talents is what the doctor ordered. It helped me realize some shortcomings and strengths. After a military career, positions in corporate America, a stint in the non-profit realm, a taste of business ownership, some additional formal education and a desire to contribute to my community, I found I possessed skills that would help businesses in general and possibly my community. The question became how do I pass them on to those who needed them.

Our communities today During prosperous economic times our tendency is to dismiss certain skills and consider them irrelevant . Today, there is great need in communities which lack resources to provide skills sought by companies. I read , heard about and experienced shortcomings within companies related to management of enterprise information technology resources. Stories about how we have to import people to this country to perform these tasks. Many times the reason given was related to a lack of resources with the attributes to learn these skills.

ing into the US learning IT software development methodologies, project management skills and the like. I remember working with many of these resources and many times project milestones were missed because of issues which could have been remedied using newly trained local sources mentored by an experienced resource. Within the last decade while working in corporate America seeing how many of our IT resources were coming from abroad (IT developers from Mexico, Call center personnel from the Philippians and IT resources from Russia) I noticed that many of our systems and processes were developed by people who were foreign to us. Now that I look back I can see there was a transfer of wealth taking place right under our noses. Today the fastest rising economies in the world (BRIC countries ) Brazil, Russia, India and China are many of the countries where the resources used by American companies came from. What a coincidence. I never understood this because there were so many in our local communities looking for jobs and the training programs were programs preparing the young for jobs in hospitality management, auto repair and retail. Industries who traditionally paid low wages and in an information age didn’t hold much value in an economy that was built on the transfer and dissemination of information. Why didn’t we see the need to educate our youth in the skills which are dominating the information age and garnering the greatest percentage of wealth.

My first response was What? There are so many young, smart people around, kids who mastered using the The value in this instance depends on pervery technology we were incorporating into corporate Amerispective. To me the value is in the abundance of an intellica. Why cant we teach them these skills? gent source that could give our communities an edge in the I remember in the late 90’s the wave of citizens from global marketplace and allow America to compete for jobs

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that will shape the next century.

acquired knowledge about computing which could aid those seeking computer With shrinking budgskills. ets individual personal experiences can go far and I would As a business manhope this time we don't imager/executive I’ve acquired port the resources from skills related to planning and abroad; there are many in business management which our communities with this may aid young entrepreknowledge, lets put them to neurs who lack experience work remedying the gaps in initiating and managing busiour labor force teaching the ness affairs. As a father who vast amounts of youth skills raised three children, I can where they could compete in educate groups of young faone of the fastest growing segments of the global econ- thers on the critical skills necessary to balance career omy. and fatherhood tasks.

Sizing up your potential value

Many of us at times discount the value in skills learned due to their relevance to critical objectives identified in pursuit of a career or other noteworthy goals. We put these experiences on the back-burner never putting their true value on our radar. But as it was told to me, “one man’s junk is another

man’s treasure”. The same holds true when assessing personal value, what you consider unusable may have great value within your community.

Your Potential Value We can add value to a community in many ways. The sharing of lessons learned on the job, at school, in the military, while traveling locally or abroad, in business or in community activities over time. We can share these skills through volunteering, advising or mentoring those in our communities in need of the knowledge gained

As a retired military noncommissioned officer I can mentor up and coming leaders, extolling the valuable leadership lessons learned over a career.

In short, after doing some assessment, you may find you have a lot to offer of great value. It is easy to define value based on parameters set by society based on provision and its benefit to you, (money) but truthfully you are worth a lot more. Don’t define your value in terms of your capacity to earn an income, define it based on life experience and how you can fill vital gaps throughout your community. So if you find yourself unemployed, or semiretired, don’t sit on the couch lumbering over the fact you are no longer employed, seek out community groups and other affiliations who can use your plethora of skills and offer them. Communities need all the help they can get. Lend a hand.

For instance, as an experienced IT professional I

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Let me start by noting my idea of a good father was based in part on the fictional characters portrayed in many mid 20th century television programs and concepts peddled in media fostering a father with no spots or blemishes was true good fathers. Fathers in these programs were kind, wise and without fault. They were mistake proof, employed, never troubled and always in control. This was the model I used to determine if my dad was a good dad. That was fiction. Through wisdom, spiritual enlightenment, trial and error of many concepts and things, efforts to listen and not judge...I believe there were many things left out of the above portrayal that “missed the mark” and contributed to many of the challenges experienced in my relationship with my children.

done. How it is done starts with love, truth and divine wisdom. Concepts every father can possess through work. I found being a good father:

practice good father-ship because its portrayal left out some really important concepts Everyday will not be a picture of serenity

means being present, not perfect

As a human you are not perfect

means setting a true example of the struggles, triumphs, and compromise present in community, friendship, and citizenship

When faced with choosing a preferred choice versus a honest, lessor the truth out of truth, truth is the better choice.

requires knowing how to present truth and still foster optimisms

You must be selfless when it comes to your children

requires listening and not speaking,

Being firm and standing on established principles doesn't make you a hypocrite regarding change, it facilitates stability….but it must be done in love

being a willing change component, not someone who is unwilling to change requires leading by example

It is not easy

Love is a essential ingredient

requires humility and the ability to admit when you Thank God for the “true” are wrong good fathers, imperfect, unrequires loving your chilselfish and loving. We need dren. Here is the non-fiction them along with dispelling For many years the mid the tv image of In my experience I found being a good father is com- 20th century image of a “A Good Father” plicated and requires a lot good father deceptively robbed me of the ability to of work..;;;; but it can be

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Here is a team tasked with restoring this place Accepting the job without complaint Attempting to restore a collaborative face On an America void of civic grace Here is a team disrespected by those Who rejects their policies even ones they proposed Disrupting their effectiveness with continual no’s Refusing because they were solutions they chose

Here is a team who deserves a shot To work with those who will help plot A way out of this undesired spot Restoring a good we have seem to forgot Bless this team over the year Anoint them with vision that will help them steer Our country down a path void of fear Full of jobs, prosperity, respect and cheer

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It Does Matter In the world today, when many attempts to flatter They use the phrase " It doesn't matter"

It matters the decisions made after you meet It matters to whom and how you administer care It matters whether or not you choose to share

Consider the phrase and what it really means Because I found very little that doesn't matter to me

So next time you hear this crazy chatter Remember to embrace the things that matter

It matters when you don't have nothing to eat Remind yourself It matters when you have no shoes of what's at stake to wear on your feet The quality of your life it matters how comfortable the is based on the decisions you make place you call home it matters when speaking loudly to lower your tone It matters the response you get when you greet

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