On Thursday, April 1st, the White House Office of Public Engagement brought together organizations representing communities of color and women to discuss recent efforts to create jobs and restore our economy.
James Kvaal, Special Assistant to the President on Economic Policy, and David Hinson, National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency, provided updates about recent initiatives that have been proposed or enacted that will lead to economic opportunities for minority and women owned businesses.
The group discussed the Administration's job creation proposals. Two weeks ago, President Obama signed a measure cutting taxes for companies that hire unemployed workers. The Administration is working with Congress to continue last summer's successful summer jobs for youth program. The House also recently passed a bill funding 200,000 summer jobs, and the Senate will consider the measure when they return to Washington. President Obama is also working to create jobs for low-income families through the TANF emergency fund.
David Hinson conveyed the progress of outreach efforts to minority businesses, the $2.9 billion in grants and financing these businesses received last year and additional efforts to continue addressing the access-to-capital dilemma through Business to Business events, regional networking and increased awareness sessions at the federal and state level.
Nearly 30 organizations were present for the conversation including leading national grassroots organizations, policy think tanks, faith organizations, as well as women’s advocacy groups.
Our recent economic numbers represent real progress after just more than a year, but we know there is much more to be done. These sessions help inform organizations on the efforts being made and the impact Administration policies will have on communities across the country.
Michael Blake is an Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement & Deputy Associate Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs