Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: April 20, 2017
Contact: Cory Kelly
Tama, Iowa - Community members and leaders gathered Wednesday morning at the Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel Conference Center to share their insights and perspectives regarding minority unemployment at the second listening tour held by the Minority Unemployment and Outreach Standing Committee.
“The opportunity to hear directly from community members about steps we can take together to solve this issue is an important first step,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “Every event allows us to hear unique perspectives and ideas. I strongly encourage Iowans to attend a future listening tour and to be part of the solution to this very important issue.”
Listening tour sessions are being scheduled over the next two months across Iowa. Upcoming sessions include:
- Thursday, April 20, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., Steeple Square, Dubuque
- Tuesday, April 25, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Des Moines North High School, Des Moines
- Tuesday, May 9, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Payne Memorial AME Church, Waterloo
- Tuesday, May 16, 6 to 7 p.m., Grand View University Student Center, Des Moines (Spanish language event)
- Tuesday, May 30, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Waterloo Center for the Arts, Waterloo
The Minority Unemployment and Outreach Standing 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 Standing 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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