Dec. 9, 2011 15:25 UTC

Job Creation Tops Black Lawmakers Policy Agenda

The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) will close out
its 35th Annual Legislative Conference with a panel of
national experts on economic policy. The theme of this year’s Closing
Plenary session is, “Generating Jobs for Today and Tomorrow to
Reignite the American Economy,”
which aims to address the single
most important issue facing American voters: creating jobs and
protecting the unemployed.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) November 2011 Employment Situation
summary shows 13.3 million Americans (8.6 % of the population) are
unemployed. While there have been marginal decreases over the past
months, the fact remains that many Americans are still struggling to
secure jobs. States across the nation have put in place job training
programs and provided workforce services to connect job seekers with
potential employers. Organizations are taking these programs a step
further by preparing job seekers for careers to ensure employment
longevity and a reduction in turnover.

The DOL summary reported African Americans with the highest unemployment
rate at 15.5% followed by Latinos at 11.4% and Caucasians at 7.6%. “This
disparity is unacceptable and must be addressed,” said Kansas State
Representative Barbara Ballard, President of NBCSL. “In addition to
helping Americans get back to work, Congress needs to reach an agreement
to extend unemployment benefits and prevent more Americans from slipping
into poverty.” The experts for NBCSL’s Closing Plenary session will
outline their ideas and initiatives for creating jobs and closing the
racial disparities in unemployment figures. They will discuss solutions
ranging from local to federal innovations and model policies. Ideas
generated and discussed at the NBCSL legislative conferences have often
been at the core of state legislation following the conference.
Furthermore, successful state initiatives frequently lead the way for
federal policy. This Closing Plenary offers viewers the rare opportunity
to listen and participate in forming public policy.

“Putting our citizens back to work is paramount to the vitality of this
country. There is no more important job for our members than promoting
legislation in their states that will put our constituents back to work.
Unemployment isn’t just a statistic. It erodes our families and our
communities. It is time for our people to get back to work, and to start
rebuilding their lives,” said Barbara Ballard.

WHO:       Cheryl Jackson, Moderator, CNN Correspondent and PBS Diversity
Andrea Zopp, ESQ., President and CEO, Chicago Urban League
William E. Spriggs, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary for Policy, U.S.
Department of Labor
Robert I. Lerman, Ph.D., Institute Fellow, The Urban Institute,
Professor of Economics, American University
Nancy Sutley, Chair, The White House, Council on Environmental
The Honorable Danny K. Davis, Member of U.S. Congress, Illinois, 7th
WHAT: Closing Plenary: Generating Jobs for Today and Tomorrow to Reignite
the American Economy
WHEN: Saturday, December 10, 2011, 10:45am – 12:30pm
WHERE: Renaissance Hotel, One West Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL, Grand
Ballroom, Salon 1-3

About the National Black Caucus of State

The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) is a membership
association representing over 600 African American state legislators
hailing from 45 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin
Islands. NBCSL members represent more than 50 million Americans of all
racial backgrounds. NBCSL tracks legislation at all levels of government
and actively monitors state and federal policy initiatives to provide
its members with important information. Each year, NBCSL members pass
resolutions that directly impact federal and state policy. The
organization focuses on U.S. domestic policy and is committed to
policies that positively affect all Americans. Learn more at


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Source: The National Black Caucus of State Legislators