Polk County Residents Invited to Share Opinions, Experiences with Minority Unemployment and Outreach Committee Members During Listening Tour Sessions in April

Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: April 5, 2017
Contact: Cory Kelly
Telephone: 515-330-5646
Email:  cory.kelly@iwd.iowa.gov

Polk County Residents Invited to Share Opinions, Experiences with Minority Unemployment and Outreach Committee Members During Listening Tour Sessions in April

Des Moines, Iowa  - The public is invited to share their insights and perspectives regarding minority unemployment at two listening tours in Des Moines.

The Minority Unemployment and Outreach Committee is hosting the sessions on Tuesday, April 11 at the Des Moines Roosevelt High School Cafeteria and on Tuesday, April 25 at the Des Moines North High School Cafeteria. Both sessions will start at 5:30 p.m. and are expected to last around 90 minutes. Committee members and community leaders encourage the public to attend the listening tours to engage in open discussions about their perspectives in helping identify and address barriers to minority employment in Polk County.

Polk County is one of four pilot counties in which listening tour sessions are being scheduled over the next two months. Similar sessions are being scheduled in Black Hawk, Dubuque, and Pottawattamie counties.

The Minority Unemployment and Outreach Committee was formed in February to address disparities in the minority unemployment rate in Iowa. According to the latest Census information, African Americans had an unemployment rate of 14.2 percent, Native Americans had a rate of 11 percent, Asian Americans had a rate of 5.3 percent (other pacific islanders had a rate of 13.6 percent) and Hispanic Americans had a rate of 8.1 percent.  Iowa’s statewide unemployment rate was 3.9 percent during that same Census period.

The goal of the committee is to reduce minority unemployment rates by five percent (or to the state average) in the next five years. The committee will develop a strategic plan that aligns with the plan being developed by the Future Ready Iowa Alliance. The Future Ready Iowa Alliance is charged with developing a strategic plan by October 31, 2017, to ensure 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce will have education beyond high school by 2025.

For additional information about the Minority Unemployment & Outreach Committee, visit the committee’s section of the Iowa Workforce Development Board website or connect with the initiative on Facebook or Twitter.

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