Monday, September 5, 2011, is Labor Day. Each year, Labor Day is a United States federal holiday that is observed on the first Monday in the month of September. Labor Day holiday celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers. Given the record level of unemployment in America, this is a fitting topic to discuss during the Labor Day holiday weekend. It has been reported that in excess of fourteen million (14,000,000) Americans are seeking employment. Additionally, there are countless Americans that are underemployed and they too are seeking gainful employment on this federal holiday celebrating the contributions made by workers to our nation.
We, as a nation, are several years into a job crisis. Reports of highly disappointing May and June employment gains accompanied by slow economic growth for the first two quarters of 2011 highlight the urgent need for a national plan to grow the economy. The unemployment numbers throughout the country mandate legislative, tangible action to address the crisis. In response to the dismal unemployment figures, an open letter with almost two thousand (2,000) signatures was sent by the National Urban League to the President and Congress urging their support in the “War on Unemployment”.
For the past several months, this blog has focused primarily on recently introduced pieces of legislation and other activities undertaken to address the current economic crisis with a focus on addressing unemployment and the resulting record bankruptcies, foreclosures, growth in homelessness and food insecurity. Below are several pieces of recent legislation which were introduced to address the unemployment crisis:
Promoting Partnerships to Transform Opportunities Act (H.R. 2611)
The Promoting Partnerships to Transform Opportunities Act (H.R. 2611) is one such piece of legislation. In response to record employment, the Promoting Partnerships to Transform Opportunities Act (H.R. 2611) was introduced on July 21, 2011, by US Representative Raul Grijalva (S-AZ7). This piece of legislation would “…amend the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to prepare people with multiple barriers to employment to enter the workforce by providing such people with support services, job training, and education, and for other purposes. This new piece of legislation, H.R. 2611, has four (4) cosponsors. It is in the first step of the legislative process.
Earlier this year, another piece of legislation was introduced to amend the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to permit the establishment of Job Corps centers in the territories of the United States. On June 24, 2011, H.R. 2935 was introduced by Delegate Gregorio Sablan (D-MP) to amend the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. H.R. 2935 has 26 cosponsors. It is also in the first step of the legislative process.
Like most Americans, some members of congress assert that, “It is time for action on the most important issue of our time—economic opportunity through jobs! Every American deserves the right to be gainfully employed or own a successful business”—said U.S. Representative Cleaver. I agree. As a result, I just signed a petition that says “America wants to work. It’s time to move on from manufactured crises and focus on jobs.” If you agree with me, will you add your name to the petition? If so, go here to sign the petition: http://act.aflcio.org/c/18/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2640
Lamont Cranston reminds us that, ” History will judge us either for our activism or apathy. The choice is ours, but the impact of our decision is ultimately on our children.” If the pressing social issues covered in these posts are important to you, please contact your elected officials in Washington, DC. For further information on these pieces of legislation, please visit www.govtrack.us. www.opencongress.org.
Source(s): National Urban League. US Rep. Cleaver’s FaceBook page. www.govtrack.us. www.opencongress.org Lamont Cranston. www.grio.com. www.thecincinnatiherald.com. www.theblackamerica.com. AFL-CIO. Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art