For Immediate Release
December 09, 2011
Contact Information

GDK Associates PR
Gabrielle King
NBCSL National Office
LaKimba B. DeSadier

(BPRW) Job Creation Tops Black Lawmakers Policy Agenda

(BLACK PR WIRE)--CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) will close out its 35th Annual Legislative Conference with a panel of national experts on economic policy. The theme of this year’s Closing Plenary session is, “Generating Jobs for Today and Tomorrow to Reignite the American Economy,” which aims to address the single most important issue facing American voters: creating jobs and protecting the unemployed.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) November 2011 Employment Situation summary shows 13.3 million Americans (8.6 % of the population) are unemployed. While there have been marginal decreases over the past months, the fact remains that many Americans are still struggling to secure jobs. States across the nation have put in place job training programs and provided workforce services to connect job seekers with potential employers. Organizations are taking these programs a step further by preparing job seekers for careers to ensure employment longevity and a reduction in turnover.

The DOL summary reported African Americans with the highest unemployment rate at 15.5% followed by Latinos at 11.4% and Caucasians at 7.6%. “This disparity is unacceptable and must be addressed,” said Kansas State Representative Barbara Ballard, President of NBCSL. “In addition to helping Americans get back to work, Congress needs to reach an agreement to extend unemployment benefits and prevent more Americans from slipping into poverty.” The experts for NBCSL’s Closing Plenary session will outline their ideas and initiatives for creating jobs and closing the racial disparities in unemployment figures. They will discuss solutions ranging from local to federal innovations and model policies. Ideas generated and discussed at the NBCSL legislative conferences have often been at the core of state legislation following the conference. Furthermore, successful state initiatives frequently lead the way for federal policy. This Closing Plenary offers viewers the rare opportunity to listen and participate in forming public policy.

“Putting our citizens back to work is paramount to the vitality of this country. There is no more important job for our members than promoting legislation in their states that will put our constituents back to work. Unemployment isn’t just a statistic. It erodes our families and our communities. It is time for our people to get back to work, and to start rebuilding their lives,” said Barbara Ballard.

WHO: Cheryl Jackson, Moderator, CNN Correspondent and PBS Diversity Correspondent
Andrea Zopp, ESQ., President and CEO, Chicago Urban League
William E. Spriggs, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Labor
Robert I. Lerman, Ph.D., Institute Fellow, The Urban Institute, Professor of Economics, American University
Nancy Sutley, Chair, The White House, Council on Environmental Quality
The Honorable Danny K. Davis, Member of U.S. Congress, Illinois, 7th District

WHAT: Closing Plenary: Generating Jobs for Today and Tomorrow to Reignite the American Economy

WHEN: Saturday, December 10, 2011, 10:45am – 12:30pm

WHERE: Renaissance Hotel, One West Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL, Grand Ballroom, Salon 1-3

About the National Black Caucus of State Legislators

The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) is a membership association representing over 600 African American state legislators hailing from 45 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NBCSL members represent more than 50 million Americans of all racial backgrounds. NBCSL tracks legislation at all levels of government and actively monitors state and federal policy initiatives to provide its members with important information. Each year, NBCSL members pass resolutions that directly impact federal and state policy. The organization focuses on U.S. domestic policy and is committed to policies that positively affect all Americans. Learn more at