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Politics & Government

African American Task Force subcommittee focuses on economic issues

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Delaware Public Media
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One of the African American Task Force subcommittees is focused on  addressing economic empowerment opportunities for African Americans in the First State.

 

The task force’s economic opportunity subcommittee discussed a number of priorities at its latest meeting Thursday.  They included better mentoring, more workforce training and more union representation - as well as bringing businesses to the state that attract young entrepreneurs 

State Rep. Bill Bush says the state also has to look at the barriers young entrepreneurs face.

"Some of it really comes down to young entrepreneurs being able to get more capital and finding a way to get there and I think that is really part of the key to getting a lot of these new businesses going," said Bush.

Delaware Labor Secretary Cerron Cade agrees with Bush that upfront capital is needed, but also believes job opportunities and skills training are crucial - especially for adults.

Shavonne White believes all of these things require state government taking a lead role.

"They need to know that African-Americans provide a great contribution to the state and therefore they can see our value and make sure that the policies them and processes are in place to make sure that we are uplifted and have the same opportunity," said White.

The subcommittee also discussed breaking down barriers to young entrepreneurs of color getting upfront capital, while the government works to make the climate more friendly for those entrepreneurs.

Dr. Dan Young is part of the task force, and he says to get state government on your side, the first thing to do is make sure the right people are in office.

"There's no way you're going to change any structural barriers unless you have the people that are in office advocating for those policies that will directly affect African-American people some of those things that we try to push for are things like same day registration and early voting and automatic registration that have plagued the black community for so many decades," said Young.

Young notes African-Americans are dealing with structural racism, and in many cases they are always trying to play catchup or starting behind in the process.