Supported by employment and education data, the authors make the case that training and recruiting African-American men in New Orleans for jobs in the regional petrochemical and construction industries would have benefits for a "triple bottom line" -- reducing chronic unemployment, reducing crime rates, and increasing the local tax base -- as well as meeting the employers' pressing workforce needs.
Black male workers are significantly less likely than workers overall to be employed in New Orleans' growing sectors of professional, scientific, and technical services; educational services; and health care and social assistance services.
Economic decline and industrial restructuring in New Orleans were particularly painful for African-American men. Jobs in industries where men comprised over 70 percent of employment declined by 60 percent from 1980 to 2004. Further, only 15 percent of African-American men had an associate's degree or higher in 1980, putting them at a significant disadvantage in the labor market.
As real hourly wages for non-college-going workers have stagnated for the past 30 years and scarcity has driven up the cost of postsecondary talent, there has been a rapid increase in the wage gap between those with and without postsecondary education.
High growth is projected in good-paying jobs in advanced manufacturing and heavy construction. Career pathway programs, industry partnerships, and other strategies can realize the economic potential of African-American men by enabling them to fill the vacancies in these industries.
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Title: Recognizing the Underutilized Economic Potential of Black Men in New Orleans
Publication date 2013-06-14
Publication Year 2013
Gregory Rattler, Jr.
, Petrice Sams-Abiodun
Lindy Boggs National Center for Community Literacy
North America / United States (Southern) / Louisiana / Orleans Parish / New Orleans
, men in new
, economic potential
, black men
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