A delegation of IAM members attended The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation’s “Black Women’s Roundtable” (BWR) to take part in a panel discussion with special guest Heather Foster, the Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.
Speaking at the National Council of Negro Women in Washington, DC, just three days after the president’s State of the Union address, Foster outlined the White House’s “Blueprint for an America Built to Last.” She said the president’s key issue is unemployment, and echoed his address in calling for a revival of the U.S. manufacturing sector, skills training and a fairer tax code.
While addressing the 15.8 percent unemployment rate that currently plagues the African-American community, Foster outlined a White House report entitled “The President’s Agenda and the African-American Community.” The agenda includes providing subsidized jobs for low-income families, increased access and affordability to college, tax relief and small business support.
Speaking on behalf of labor and working families, IAM members Cindy Williams, Teri McClendon and LaToya Egwuekwe stressed the need for jobs and skills training programs that reverse the stagnant wage crisis that has crippled middle-class families during this Great Recession and for the past 30 years. The women also discussed the importance of bringing trade classes back to our nation’s high schools and community colleges, as this was once a doorway into the middle class for so many, especially minorities.