It can be felt. The feeling that you are welcome and well embraced in the community. As leaders of AFGE Local 573 at Federal Correctional Institution Aliceville in Alabama, Local President Ray Coleman and Secretary Treasurer Terrence Windham felt it was their duty to give back to the community. As correctional officers, part of their job is to rehabilitate, but they feel rehabilitation is reactive. They wanted to do something proactive.
So when the local won a settlement over night differential and premium pay, they used their portions to purchase neckties and bowties for graduating class of local high schools. They taught the boys how to tie the neckties and bowties and talked to them about the importance of dressing professionally for not only job interviews but all life endeavors. Their goal was to save at least one child from going astray through positive influence.
“The fellas loved it. They bought right in and became engaged with the idea of having their own ties and preparing for college and/or workforce,” Coleman said. “We enjoyed being mentors to these young men.”
School staff were excited to have the officers in their schools, Coleman added. This goes a long way when the local needs support from the community on behalf of staff.
AFGE applauds the local for such a thoughtful, creative initiative that benefits everyone in the community. You represent AFGE and the labor movement well!