IT News Wire
LOS ANGELES –– The Southern California Black Worker Hub for Regional Organizing participated in a meeting with U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Julie Su last month to advocate for racial equity in hiring for jobs created by new construction projects funded through federal infrastructure legislation. Held at the historic Allen House on the FAME Renaissance Center’s campus in South Los Angeles, representatives of the Black Workers Centers of Los Angeles, Inland Empire and San Diego as well as other partnered organizations also participated in the meeting with Secretary Su to discuss their respective work-ready campaigns and how they can be used as a model for the federal government.
With millions of jobs expected to arise over the next decade through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Hub urged Secretary Su and federal legislators to consider Black workers and racial equity when establishing employment opportunities through this unprecedented federal infrastructure investment. The Hub expressed that Black communities have historically been excluded from these federal investment dollars, particularly women of color and BIPOC individuals.
“Black workers are in crisis. From the COVID-19 pandemic to the looming recession, we need profound and intentional investment for Black workers now,” said Elda Solomon, Policy Manager, Southern California Black Worker Hub for Regional Organizing. “The federal infrastructure dollars that are coming down is the perfect opportunity for federal and state agencies to work with organizations like the So Cal Black Worker Hub and regional Black Worker Centers to create and sustain economic opportunities for the Black community, and to make sure that these opportunities don’t skip over us again.”
Also during the meeting, the Hub addressed legislative and statutory changes that need to be made at the federal level, such as Executive Order 11246, a civil rights era executive order that sets out minority hiring standards on federal contract projects. This executive order is critical since federal contracted work comprises 20% of the U.S. workforce.
Secretary Su conveyed during the meeting that the U.S. Department of Labor recognizes that Black workers occupy a uniquely disadvantaged position in the workforce, one that has been created by centuries of intentional and egregious discrimination and exclusion. Secretary Su further expressed that the U.S. Department of Labor will continue to work with the Hub as well as its regional Black Worker Centers and partnered organizations to lift up all workers, including Black workers, on federal investment projects.
Through the Hub’s new partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, it is the organization’s hope that Black communities across the country will play a fundamental role in rebuilding the nation through this federal investment act. “We are inspired about the So Cal Black Worker Hub’s continued partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor to greatly assist us in this critically important endeavor,” said Solomon.
The Southern California Black Worker Hub for Regional Organizing advocates for the economic empowerment of Black workers throughout the region by supporting Black Worker Centers in Los Angeles, the Inland Empire and San Diego as they fight for economic inclusion and opportunity for the region’s Black workers. By serving as a resource for all three worker centers, the Hub is advancing Black economic opportunity throughout the region, creating a more equitable Southern California.