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Center for the Advancement of Racial Equity

Dismantling Disparity: Breaking Barriers to Employment

By: Elda Solomon, Deja Thomas, Lola Smallwood-Cuevas

Dismantling Disparity: Breaking Barriers to Employment, a new research brief by CARE At Work at the UCLA Labor Center, states that the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the systemic discrimination Black workers have long faced. Authors note it is imperative that state and federal funding allocated to workforce development prioritize addressing the barriers that impact many Black workers.

Among other findings, the research brief states:

  • From March to December of 2020, 84% of the Black labor force in California filed for unemployment.
  • Institutionalized racism leads to Black people being overrepresented in incarcerated and homeless populations and at risk for a number of health and educational disparities. These factors create economic insecurity and barriers to employment that are difficult to overcome without strategic support.
  • The California Workforce Development Board’s (CWDB) Breaking Barriers to Employment Initiative aims to create grant programs that ensure that individuals are equipped with skills training and educational services that will reduce barriers to employment.
  • Amendments to Breaking Barriers, like those currently suggested in AB 628, would allow for more resources to reach Black workers who have been economically devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Related Project
The Center for the Advancement of Racial Equity at Work (CARE at Work) engages Black workers and economic justice advocates and facilitat...
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