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New job city.

Three years ago, Harold Brown left a tight job market in East Brunswick, N.J., for more profitable pastures in his home state of Georgia. Although the East Coast accountant moved South without a job, he knew two things: He wanted to reestablish his career in Atlanta and make the relocation process easier on his wife and two children.

Brown managed to do both. How? He read about a unique local service that helps new Atlanta residents get acquainted with the city by helping them find everything from day-care centers to soul food restaurants. The company, Black Atlanta Transplants (BAT), is a 5-year old service that acts as a relocation resource for black professionals and entrepreneurs seeking to profit from Atlanta's rich social, cultural and economic advantages. BAT networks with more than 100 black professional organizations, social clubs and special-interest groups.

"I came here cold, but I managed to meet a real estate agent from Black Atlanta Transplants who sold me a home," recalls the 42-year-old Brown, now an accountant for Novatel Communications Inc., a local firm that sells cellular telephones.

For black professionals and business owners seeking to bolster their careers in a new city, success is often based on one common thread--networking. That's why Eleatha D. O'Neal, president and founder of BAT, says she started her one-woman relocation service in June 1987. "Atlanta is a mecca for black people returning to the South for economic reasons," says the 37-year-old former New York who has lived in the bustling southern metropolis for 15 years.

Over the years, O'Neal, says she has been queried on everything from finding black doctors to the whereabouts of the Ku Klux Klan in the area. "I've gotten phone calls from as far away as Alaska and the Caribbean," says O'Neal, whose current client base includes more than 700 members.

Jason L. Marchman, business information service manager with the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, says that efforts to attract and keep black professionals in a new area often hinge on making contacts from the start.

If you're moving to a new city, Marchman suggests the following:

* Call your local chamber of commerce. "Most chambers have a relocation packet that includes information on professional trade organizations," he notes.

* Read every local newspaper you can get your hands on.

* Seek professional help from the company that you're relocating to. "Try to get them to answer your questions--especially those on the cost of living," Marchman says.

* Find out if your company will pay for a pre-relocation trip.

Says Marchman: "Black professionals have special needs when they move to a new city, and they should be involved in business association, black churches and professional organizations to make it."
COPYRIGHT 1992 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:relocating to a new job
Author:Serant, Claire
Publication:Black Enterprise
Date:Jul 1, 1992
Words:449
Previous Article:$1 billion pledged to vendors.
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