[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Submitted by Bob Elder, Santora CPA Group (Newark, DE)

On February 25th, Santora CPA Group presented a play in their local Opera House entitled “Black Jobs Matter, A Wilmington Experiment”. The play was a culmination of an effort begun by the firm’s Marketing Director with a letter to the editor of our local newspaper with a similar title. The purpose of the letter was to use the firm’s influence to offer a solution to three socioeconomic problems that have plagued Wilmington and the state of Delaware.

Those issues are first, the murder rate in Wilmington has earned it a national title of “The Murder Capital of The Country”, and second, the absence of black fathers in the home has denied their children  a nurturing home life thereby contributing to the deficient scholastic performance of black children and the resulting poor state scholastic performance, and third the budget of both the state and Wilmington are functionally unbalanced due to the heavy welfare burden unmatched by tax revenue with 9,000 unemployed black men.

The article’s solution to these problems was to provide jobs for 9,000 unemployed black men. To do that it suggested that the city of Wilmington declare itself an Economic Enterprise Zone and offer major financial and other incentives to attract out of state businesses and existing businesses to avail themselves of these benefits so long as they provided jobs for 9,000 unemployed black men.

Santora CPA Group had coincidentally been working with a black playwright who produces plays and films on the plight of the inner city black community. At the same time, the state’s former Secretary of Economic Development read the article and asked to be introduced to the playwright. When the firm introduced the two, the former Secretary of Economic Development immediately offered to buy out the tickets at the local Opera House for one night if the playwright, Gregory Lloyd Morris, would write a play on this issue specifically for that night.

The play opened to a sold out audience including 29 elected officials and many top business leaders who had helped to sponsor the play. It was introduced by the state’s two Poets Laureate followed by a presentation from our Governor. It was a smashing success in delivering a powerful message.

Santora CPA Group had begun this whole effort as part of its involvement with Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. of Delaware in a program to hire ex-convicts to be trained in the trades and given good careers in construction. From its beginning this entire project was completed in three months. The response in the community for our firm has been terrific. They see that the firm has a public conscientiousness to take on socially responsible issues for the benefit of our community.

Read what the Delaware Business Times wrote about the collaboration

Additionally, the play “may have opened doors for a solution.” – follow up article by the Delaware Business Times.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]