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Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Blacks In Government sponsor day of training

By Lance Cpl. Nicholas Tremblay | | November 21, 2001

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The Albany chapter of Blacks in Government held its third annual professional day of training Friday at the Base Training Office in Bldg. 3010. The training was open to all federal, city, county, state and federal employees.

BIG is a national organization that consists of city, county, state and federal employees. The organization's goals are to promote the growth and education of African-Americans and to provide trained African-Americans for the work place.

BIG functions as an employee support group, an advocacy support group and resource group for black civil servants. The organization is  nonprofit and nonpartisan.

Throughout the day the organization provided free training, intended to enhance success in the workplace, to individuals who sought promotion opportunities, said Bill J. Robinson, president of the Albany Chapter of BIG.

Classes were given on taking responsibility for their careers, financial planning, planning and setting career goals, and learning how to cope with change in the workplace.

The educational training day kicked off at 8:15 a.m. and concluded at 3:45 p.m. A luncheon held in conjunction with the training featured James Amps III, a personal accountability speaker.

"We provide them with the latest information on what the job market requires," said Robinson. "The reason we target African-Americans is because they seem to fall behind in getting promoted in the work place, due to the lack of skills and knowledge."

During the luncheon Amps talked about the challenges of life and personal accountability taking responsibility for the choices and actions one makes and why he makes them.

"The world is changing on a daily basis, so if people don't look at themselves for change then they'll always be in a negative environment," said Amps. "If you want something you've never had, then you've gotta do something that you've never done."

To illustrate his points about adapting to the changing environment, Amps talked about his childhood and constantly having to move because his father was in the military.

"I went to an all white school in Colorado then went to T.C. Williams High School, which was predominantly black, in Alexandria [Va.]," said Amps.

BIG also provides counseling to help individuals plan their careers, said Robinson. They talk with the individual and help him decide on a career goal. If one wants to climb the ranks in his job, then BIG counselors help him decide what training he'll need to succeed.

BIG sends members to local schools as part of a mentoring program. Members can be positive role models children can look up to and learn from. They encourage youth to get an education and be model citizens.

BIG was organized in 1975 by black federal employees who worked at Parklawn Building in Rockville, Md. It was created to address specific workplace issues for African-Americans that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People did not cover.
BIG was incorporated in 1976 as a non-profit organization under the District of Columbia jurisdiction. BIG addressed workplace and community issues concerning blacks.

The Albany chapter of BIG currently has 34 members, and the national organization has three million members. These members promote the goals and visions of BIG and encourage people to join the organization. BIG's goals are to promote equality in all aspects of American life, excellence in public service, and opportunity for all Americans.

"We would like to recruit additional members because I believe once they become a member of the organization they will see a positive change in the future of their careers," said Robinson. "We have people who are afraid of the name, Blacks In Government, and feel it is a racist organization, but we cater to everybody."

Individuals interested in joining or who would like more information can call Robinson at 639-7134.

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