All Articles Tagged "Milwaukee"
Founding V & J Foods in 1982 — with the help of her brother John Daniels’ financial backing — the first franchise under the operation of Valerie Daniels-Carter opened in 1984. A year later, V & J Foods expanded with an additional site, paving a road of accomplishment that many in the food and franchise industry aspire to travel.
Today, the largest female-owned franchise operator in the country, V & J Foods hosts 127 units in the states of Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, New York, Wisconsin and Ohio.
“It was a continual kind of growth pattern. We went through the application process, which was very long. After that… the market we were interested in, Wisconsin, was available,” says CEO Daniels-Carter, speaking on the initial steps that she and her brother took to own their first Burger King restaurant.
Under various franchisees (V & J National Enterprises, V & J United Enterprises), V & J Foods operates several Häagen-Dazs, Coffee Beanery and Pizza Hut restaurants in addition to Burger King. There are also more than two dozen Auntie Anne’s pretzel shops that V&J Foods owns through VJ and O’Neal Enterprises, a joint venture with former NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal founded in 2006.
“Everyday is different. I get up, I have my devotion, either I’m traveling to business meetings or I’m in the office,” says Daniels-Carter who is heavily involved in her church and community.
“One day you may find me in a restaurant greeting customers or you may find me sitting in the White House talking to the President about what it is to be a successful businessperson. There is no structured day for me,” she says.
The Road to Business
According to Daniels-Carter, a successful franchise business must have great people, individuals who are committed to superior results, a great location and a product that people are willing to pay for. Most important is the owner’s responsibility for equipping those committed individuals with the tools that make them successful.
Another unarmed black teen has been gunned down, but in this instance justice is at least attempting to be carried out immediately.
Last week, 75-year-old Milwaukee resident John Henry Spooner approached 13-year-old Darius Simmons as he was getting a garbage cart from in front of a house Thursday morning. According to a statement from the boy’s mother, Patricia Larry, in a police complaint, Spooner told her son he “wanted his stuff back and that he wanted his shotguns back,” the complaint said.
Simmons and his mother reportedly told Spooner they did not have his property and he then pulled a gun, pointed it at Simmons and fired one shot from about five feet away. As the the boy was running away, Spooner fired a second shot which fatally wounded the boy. An autopsy found the teen suffered a gunshot wound to his chest, and the bullet damaged the ventricles of his heart before exiting his back. Police recovered a weapon as well as two spent casings at the scene of the crime.
Spooner was arrested Thursday after waiting for police at the crime scene on Milwaukee’s south side. After being taken into custody he was charged with one count of first-degree intentional homicide and use of a dangerous weapon. Police are currently investigating whether there is a history of disputes between Spooner and Simmons. Robert Delatorre, who is a neighbor of Spooner’s, said the old man lived alone with his two dogs and often walked around the block. While he was on one of those walks his house was burglarized and he suspected his next-door neighbors had committed the crime. He also installed surveillance cameras outside of his house, but it’s not clear if police have looked into any possible tapes just yet.
Alderman Bob Donovan told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he had breakfast with Spooner earlier on the same day of the shooting and said the man told him he had lost $3,000 worth of shotguns in a burglary this week and that he was frustrated with police and was dying of lung cancer.
“He seemed burdened, truly burdened,” Donovan said. Spooner also said something to the extent of “there are other ways to deal with situations” the police couldn’t resolve, Donovan added.
Sounds like another sad case of vigilante justice—with no proof of wrongdoing. Biko Baker, Executive Director of the League of Young Voters and a former political correspondent for The Source, commented on the case saying:
“Black youth are being stereotyped, targeted, and killed by law enforcement and now community vigilantes. This is bigger than the Castle Doctrine (Stand your ground law) , this is about our country’s continued refusal to acknowledge that we are still suffering from the sins of our forefathers. And the more we try to push the racial boogieman under the cover, the more it is going to bite us in the a**.”
Thankfully, Spooner remains in custody on a $300,000 cash bond.
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
More on Madame Noire!
- What’s Black Enough For You?
- Grieving Over a Girlfriend: 7 Ways to Move on After a Break-up…Between Friends
- Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind the Making of “Poetic Justice”
- Am I The Problem? Finding Accountability Within
- Don’t Look Back: Are You Spending Too Much Time Obsessing Over Your Past?
- Where Are They Now? 10 Black Actresses Who Should Have Blown Up Big…
- What About Ciara? Knicks Star Amar’e Stoudemire Proposes To Mother of His Children
Milwaukee is facing a staggering problem, as black male unemployment in Wisconsin’s largest city has reached an alarming 34%. Jobs for the unskilled used to be plentiful, but in recent years the area has lost 56,000 positions, most of which were in entry-level manufacturing. Today, African-American males just graduating from high school and others without training are finding it difficult to find jobs without the help of programs. CBS News reports:
Just 40 years ago, 8 out of 10 black men were employed. Most found jobs in manufacturing, where a kid coming out of high school used to be able to earn a decent wage and support a family, but not anymore.
Now, Milwaukee has begun a new program which matches high school drop-outs, low-skilled workers, even some ex-felons, with businesses willing to train them. For six months, men like Darius Smith are paid to learn carpentry or electrical installation skills.
“If we provide a little bit of opportunity for them it spreads,” says contractor Troy Reese.
Reese says he was eager to sign up to be a trainer and has taken on some tough cases.
“We’ve had people that are 12 years out of prison, (and) their first job is our job. So we really have to balance out the needs of each applicant,” Reese says.
In the five months since the program started, 124 trainees have signed up. Of that group, 88 are now in transitional jobs and six have landed full-time jobs. None have dropped out.
Programs such as these are assisting a handful of black men at a time, when thousands are at risk of enduring long-term joblessness. Milwaukee has become the first city in America to set up a task force to combat this massive predicament, but it is not the only locale struggling with similar circumstances. America in general is experiencing what has been termed a “mancession” — a recession in which men have lost most of the jobs — with black men being the hardest hit nationwide.
The persistent problem of black male unemployment has yet to be adequately addressed by any community. It is absurd that Milwaukee is the first and only city making a special effort to tackle a conundrum whose permutations touch so many lives. If black males are not working, their lack of income contributes to their mass incarcerations rates, the trials of the poor single mother, and many other social ills. This challenge will not be beaten with a few well-meaning programs, although leaders contributing to them are to be commended. More municipalities must work in a concerted effort with African-Americans overall if the quandary of black male unemployment will ever be solved.