Moving forward with Disney

Published 10:52 am Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tuesday night may prove a turning point in Selma’s economic and social history.

If so, many of us will refer to it as the night Disney came to town.

We’re talking the Disney of MIckey Mouse and Goofy.

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We’re also talking about a company that has parks and resorts reporting $3 billion in revenues in its July 30 company report. The corporation also has other holdings — studio entertainment, television networks and stores.

Disney stands as one of the best-known and largest corporations worldwide.

Now, 20 young people from Selma and Dallas County will have the opportunity to work with the organization, thanks to the planning and cooperation of a group of citizens called the focus group.

The focus group comes together once a month to take on a project. It focuses.

State Rep. Yusuf Salaam leads the sessions, during which individuals give reports on their various assignments. Everybody has a place at the table.

And Salaam’s table is all inclusive. He sees it as building a “mega community.”

Getting young people into the Disney Career Start Program is another one of those building blocks. The work gives students an opportunity to live on their own in a controlled environment, to work with others from various countries, to learn service skills, to take free college courses, if they desire, to travel and see other portions of the country.

These skills, in addition to the work ethic involved, build a cultured workforce — someone who understands the value of networking, service and who has good self-esteem.

In addition to the benefits for the students, the focus group sees the relationship with Disney as a stepping stone to working with other worldwide corporations.

As we build our workforce, these other liaisons will pay off in increased economic benefits for our people, and in return, for our businesses and our government.

Through this mega community everyone wins.

There’s nothing mickey mouse or goofy about that.