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Report Urges More Job Help For Black Americans

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Report Urges More Job Help For Black Americans

Race

Report Urges More Job Help For Black Americans

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ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

NPR's Cheryl Corley reports.

CHERYL CORLEY: League President Marc Morial says African-American voters turned out in huge numbers for the election of President Barack Obama. But still, he says, black America is at a pivotal point.

MARC MORIAL: We're at a time of crossroads because the election of the president, the majority in Congress, gives us hope that they've got the kind of resolve to take the steps necessary.

CORLEY: Steps, Morial says, to further address a crushing economic downturn.

MORIAL: Because the economy has caused great job losses, loss of homes, and there's a great deal of misery and hemorrhaging out there when it comes to the economy.

CORLEY: Unidentified Man: This is a heating kit...

CORLEY: Robert Burnette with the Chicago Urban League says this is a joint program to help train people for jobs.

ROBERT BURNETTE: Even though I know there's a real bleak outlook right now in terms of most of the apprenticeships and the construction industry, we're filling a pipeline.

CORLEY: Thirty-three-year-old Scott Rudder, a student in the welding class, agrees.

SCOTT RUDDER: A lot of people I know are really looking hard for jobs. It's just not that easy out here. And I think that furthering my skills and getting another trade to heighten my chances of finding employment was the right move.

CORLEY: That's why 46-year-old Tracy Carwell, who is black and suffers from diabetes, says she's thankful the health care reform bill passed.

TRACY CARWELL: I'm hoping that it allows for people such as myself, it allows for us to be able to get health care where we need it.

CORLEY: Meantime, while some critics have said President Obama should create a black agenda to address problems African-Americans face more directly, Urban League President Morial disagrees.

MORIAL: The president doesn't need a black agenda and a white agenda. He doesn't need an agenda in every pocket. He needs one comprehensive agenda. So, inclusiveness is the watchword. That's the watchword.

CORLEY: Cheryl Corley, NPR News.

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