WASHINGTON -- Harry Alford, president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), today released the following statement in response to reports of a Congressional amendment to defund the Department of Education's proposed Gainful Employment regulation.
"The President has set a goal of having the most college graduates in the world by 2020, but the Department of Education is trying to impose regulations that would stop financial aid for students who wish to attend career colleges, which will have a profound impact on the many low-income and minority students who attend these schools.
"With unemployment rates hovering around 10 percent for the past two years and Black unemployment numbers even higher – the latest figures showed 15.7 percent in January – we need to be doing everything possible to get kids off the streets, out of the unemployment lines and into schools.
"NBCC strongly supports the bipartisan efforts by Representatives John Kline, Virginia Foxx, Alcee Hastings and Carolyn McCarthy to introduce an amendment this week that will block funding of this proposed regulation. We thank these members for their leadership and urge others to follow suit by supporting the amendment to the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution on Gainful Employment. In doing so, we will give minority students access to college programs that offer job training skills that will help prepare them for the workforce."
Alford, who testified last week before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in opposition to Gainful Employment, believes that the government is overstepping with harsh regulations that will hurt Black and minority students and prevent them from graduating with a college degree that prepares them for a career.
The NBCC reaches 100,000 Black owned businesses. There are 1 million Black owned businesses in the United States. Black businesses account for over $100 billion in annual sales. African Americans have over $800 billion in expendable income each year according to the US Bureau of Census. The National Black Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to economically empowering and sustaining African American communities through entrepreneurship and capitalistic activity within the United States and via interaction with the Black Diaspora.