“As I said last week when this legislation passed the Senate, ‘this is not the jobs bill’ and we shouldn’t confuse the millions of Americans who are struggling to find work. We should stop calling it a jobs bill, and instead acknowledge this is about business tax cuts.
“While tax cuts for some businesses may be needed, our priority must be to pass legislation that directly creates jobs. The Congressional Black Caucus is committed to finding a path forward that meets the dire needs of unemployed Americans, especially the chronically unemployed.
“For some time members of the Congressional Black Caucus have been working to address the intersecting issues of unemployment, poverty and the need to strengthen America’s workforce in a weakened economy. As the White House and Congress address and implement a ‘jobs agenda,’ the CBC remains committed to prioritizing the needs of the ‘chronically unemployed.’
“Data suggest that the chronically unemployed include African Americans and other communities of color with unemployment rates significantly higher than the national average; youth and adult workers in need of enhanced education and training; and those who have lost their jobs as a result of the weakened economy and/or have been unemployed for at least six months.
“To that end, the Congressional Black Caucus announced today we will engage in a 5 week campaign to seek policy solutions for the ‘chronically unemployed’ - engaging President Obama, leadership and members of Congress, and coalition partners in a strategy to put America back to work.”
About the CBC Jobs Campaign
The CBC believes stable and just employment is a fundamental right for all Americans. In times of economic weakness, it is the role of government to protect and empower our nation’s workforce.
During the month of March the CBC will employ tactics that educate Congress and community members on the state of the “chronically unemployed”; work with leadership to shape current legislative vehicles with the capability to create jobs and strengthen the American workforce; and engage local leadership in discussions on long term employment and economic solutions.
The CBC believes it is critical that policy solutions include not only small business relief but the creation of direct public jobs, worker training, the use of existing federal programs and targeted job creation to those communities with the highest rates and longest history of unemployment.
Our approach to job creation includes targeted funding and program distribution by incorporating Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMA’s) and other authorized approaches to identify and target areas with poverty rates of 15 percent or higher or unemployment of greater than 10 percent.
Other essential elements of a comprehensive jobs agenda should include, but not be limited to:
• Creating public jobs initiatives, involving the Department of Labor Employment & Training A
• Locally-directed funding for Summer Youth Employment; collegiate -level internships and/or fellowships; and apprentice programs.
• Enforcing the minority contracting requirements under the Department of Transportation; promoting equal access to funding for projects of the National Significant and National Corridor grants in the extension of SAFETEA-LU; and strengthening apprentice and training programs.
• Expanding unemployment insurance and COBRA benefits.
• Providing access to capital and technical assistance to capital for small business from SBA and MBDA.
Timeline of Recent CBC Movement on Jobs Legislation
12/03/09 CBC issues statement on White House Forum on Jobs & Economic Growth
12/08/09 CBC issues statement on President Obama’s Jobs Speech
12/09/09 CBC sends letter to President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Miller outlining jobs priorities
12/10/09 CBC holds News Conference on Job Creation and Economic Growth Priorities
12/11/09 CBC issues statement on The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
12/17/09 CBC issues statement on the Jobs for Main Street Act
01/08/10 CBC issues statement on Recent Unemployment Numbers
02/04/10 CBC sends letter to Leader Reid and Senator Harkin
02/05/10 CBC issues statement on Recent Unemployment Numbers
02/12/10 CBC sends letter to Leader Reid on Senate Jobs Bill
02/24/10 CBC issues statement “Stop Calling It the Jobs Bill”
02/26/10 CBC and C
03/04/10 CBC issues statement on passage of H.R. 2847, the HIRE Act & announces Five Week Jobs Campaign
03/04/10 CBC issues letter to President Obama reiterating jobs priorities
Over the course of the next five weeks we encourage our coalition partners and allies to engage in the national jobs creation dialogue. The CBC office will issue weekly updates on the movement of our efforts and extend invitations to meetings, events and actions over the five week period. To exchange information and ideas with the CBC, please firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 30 -