Education and Labor

Co-Chairs: Danny Davis, Chaka Fattah
Members: Donald Payne, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Robert Scott, Gregory Meeks, Yvette Clarke, Gwen Moore, Laura Richardson, Cedric Richmond, Frederica Wilson

The Education and Labor Taskforce is co-chaired by Danny Davis and Chaka Fattah. The House Committees of jurisdiction for the Taskforce are the Committees on Education and the Workforce and Veterans Affairs.

Given the historical inequities in education and labor markets throughout the country, the CBC has worked tirelessly to improve both education and job opportunities for all. Undoubtedly education and training begins at birth. It is no secret that there is an educational crisis in America. Similar to the disparities that exist in unemployment and healthcare, the Black community is suffering greatly from the inequities in education.

The retention of black males in secondary and post-secondary is extremely problematic and must be urgently addressed. Ironically, there is an ongoing debate about (1) the need for affirmative action and (2) whether Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are still necessary and/or relevant.

To continue to compete in this ever-changing economy, citizens must continue to obtain job training skills that will further their careers and help them with accessing available job opportunities. Finally, we will work to complete the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). WIA provides job training programs and helps to build workers skill sets, with special attention given to the careers that are available in specific regions now. Another component of WIA includes adult education, which provides standard academic training and works with programs such as adult literacy and worker training. Education at every level will remain a priority of the CBC.

Only 48% of black males receive high school diplomas, many of our nation’s schools are not structurally sound and there is more of a “Cradle to Prison” than a “Cradle to College” mentality amongst youth in underserved communities. The CBC will continue to work diligently to positively impact these statistics, by providing sound proposals to include in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and other legislative proposals to assure school accountability and educational accessibility. It will also analyze post high-school education, addressing the Higher Education Act (HEA), with specific focus on Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as other Minority Serving Institutions. In the area of labor we will continue to protect the hard-earned rights of workers, strengthen collective bargaining rights, and end wage disparities. In these contexts, the CBC will also work to provide education, vocational rehabilitation, and workforce protections for the veteran community.

The Education and Labor Taskforce handles a wide-range of issues, directly from the Education and Labor and Veterans Affairs Committees. It works to keep America strong by increasing educational opportunities for students, making it easier to send young adults to college, helping workers participate in job training programs, and providing proposals for retirement security. The applicable portions of the House of Representatives Rule X for this taskforce’s jurisdiction are as follows:

Committee on Education and the Workforce.

(1) Child labor.

(3) Convict labor and the entry of goods made by convicts into interstate commerce.

(4) Food programs for children in schools.

(5) Labor standards and statistics.

(6) Education or labor generally.

(7) Mediation and arbitration of labor disputes.

(8) Regulation or prevention of importation of foreign laborers under contract.

(9) Workers’ compensation.

(10) Vocational rehabilitation.

(11) Wages and hours of labor.

(13) Work incentive programs.

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

(1) Veterans’ measures generally.

(3) Compensation, vocational rehabilitation, and education of veterans.

(6) Readjustment of servicemembers to civil life.

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