On Thursday, President Obama spoke to the Joint Session of Congress on his job creation bill where he urged both Democrats and Republicans to “pass this jobs bill.”
In a letter to the president The Alliance for Equity in Higher Education, a collaborative effort of the American Indian Higher Education Coalition (AIHEC), Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) urged President Obama to include a critical role in the jobs training program for HBCUs, Hispanic-Serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges.
With the disparaging rates of unemployment for the nation vs. minority groups the motive for the letter seems warranted.
The troika stated, “We are especially hopeful that your proposal will include a central role for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), that will better equip our institutions to continue to train and place persons who are chronically unemployed and hard to employ in gainful employment. As you know, many Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) have since their founding served as training grounds for persons traditionally underrepresented in the American labor force. Our technical and community colleges are certifying persons in health professions, in green and energy positions and for technology careers in as few as twelve months. They are also serving as the laboratories and training grounds for partnerships with industry and community-based organizations that operate training programs.
Our four-year institutions are providing sustainable career pathways that lead to a brighter future for tens of thousands of youth and adults annually by preparing them for well-paying jobs especially in the sciences, technology engineering, and mathematics, and in the emerging green, energy, and security economies. Our diverse institutions are preparing disproportionate numbers of African American, Hispanic, and American Indian workers with cutting edge expertise that is critical to retooling and revitalizing the nation’s infrastructure. Without intervention, which must include MSIs, the nation will experience extensive worker shortages at all technical and professional levels and the nation’s ability to maintain its economic leadership will be jeopardized.”