A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Cain is Able

Today, The WorkFaith Connection of Houston held its 4th annual fundraising breakfast with keynote speaker Herman Cain.  There was an overflow crowd.

The WorkFaith Connection is a group who works with individuals in transition from prison to the workplace.  The message is that it is possible to make the right choices and decisions that will give you a productive life for the future.  The Connection shows individuals that someone cares for them and that they can learn new skills, through God’s help, that will enable them to transition back into the workforce in a responsible manner.  Many of their clients find work in the construction industry.  Several of their clients spoke about their experiences.  One of the most poignant stories was Freda Smith’s story.

Ms. Smith was introduced by her son, Dominic Miller, who attends the “5-0” University of Houston on a full football scholarship.  Freda’s story is that she served 24 months in a federal prison facility for accepting child support money that was later proven to be drug money.  She served her time and then, in her transition, became a client at the WorkFaith Connection.  Through the team at WorkFaith, she found a job where she has now been for 3 years.  She told the overflow crowd that she has regained her self-confidence and life skills through her work with the WorkFaith Connection.  She spoke of how her son meant everything to her.  Not many had dry eyes when she finished telling her story and then turned to hug her son who towers over her.

Many folks were attracted to the breakfast to hear the keynoter, Herman Cain.  Cain is now one of the front runners in the Republican Party primary race.  While he is a candidate, he said little about the race and plenty about his journey that is spelled out in his latest book, This Is Herman Cain!: My Journey to the White House. He traced his personal journey from “Po” to “poor”, through Morehouse College where he got his degree in mathematics and then to the Navy where he worked on rocket ballistics.  Leaving in his 20s to join the private sector at Coca-Cola and Pillsbury, he talked about getting his Master’s degree at Purdue University and how that helped him later to become the CEO of Godfather Pizza.

Cain, who grew up in Atlanta, a child of modest parents, told the audience that “Faith is what ties goals and dreams together”.  He repeated the message that everyone needs to have both dreams and goals for their lives and especially needs constant faith to tie them together.  He talked about his “Decade Goals” – those milestones to mark the things that you accomplish in each decade of your life.  He has clearly been driven to meet his Decade Goals all of his life.

He stressed the need to look ahead and to be mindful of the things that we can accomplish through faith, dreams, goals and hard work.  He talked about overcoming cancer and how his dream is now to become President of the United States.

The messages of the morning were very clear and a number of the contractors and subs in the audience listened carefully.  You can have a second chance, you can dream, and with faith you will continue to achieve greater successes.  There are folks who care about you and are willing to help, no matter how high a hill you have to climb to achieve those dreams which are your own.

The WorkFaith Connection provides a much-needed service to those folks in transition and is a model that can be used in other situations where workforce is needed and where there is a strong faith community.  They help folks dream again and show them how to achieve those dreams.

Herman Cain spent time with the crowd and then left to return to his dream of becoming the next President of the United States.

The crowd left with a strong message in their hearts and a new understanding of who Herman Cain really is.


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