Robert Traynham:This past September, the unemployment rate for all US veterans dropped to three percent, a 16 year low. Hello and welcome to Comcast Newsmakers. I'm Robert Traynham. Joining me is Bill Metheny, Director of the Office of Field Operations for the US Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service. Bill, welcome to the program.Bill Metheny:Thanks Robert.Robert Traynham:Let's talk about this unemployment rate. That's a good thing that I just mentioned a few moments ago, but there is always room for improvement, is that correct Bill Metheny:Sure, we're very excited that we're down to 3.0% and it's better than [00:00:30] the non-veteran counterpart. So, we're existed about that, but we know that there's still some folks out there that are struggling to get jobs, and so that's what we want to do in the Department of Labor and especially in the veterans' community through Veterans' Employment and Training Service.Robert Traynham:Okay, let's talk about the mission and the scope of your organization within the Department of Labor. What exactly do you do Bill Bill Metheny:Well what we do is, we focus on the Veteran Community and try to do whatever we can to help them get ready for jobs, get employed and then stay retained in those jobs. So, we have a few ways [00:01:00] we do that. As people are leaving the military we help prepare them for those civilian jobs, and that's both the service members and their military spouses.Robert Traynham: Could I pause there a second. You said something that's really interesting. So, they're still in uniform and you're working as they transition out. They're not technically veterans' yet Bill Metheny:That's right, and so we know that for them to be successful that preparation has to start early and so, we wanna get them as early as possible into the mindset and the preparation for when they take those boots off so they're ready to move right into civilian employment.Robert Traynham:When you [00:01:30] say mind set, what exactly do you mean Bill Metheny:Well, our service members go through a pretty rigorous program to become part of the military and that culture and all those values. We don't want them to give that up at all. Instead, we want them to build on that and transition back into civilian life. How they describe themselves, how they interact and so, we want them to start thinking about that in advance, rather than waiting till the last moment and then being surprised by how different some things might be in the work place.Robert Traynham:Bill, does it matter in your career [00:02:00] in the military Can you be perhaps maybe 50 years old and transitioning out Perhaps maybe 25 years old and maybe transitioning out Does it matter Bill Metheny:Well, it's a transition no matter where you are, and our younger service members face an interesting challenge, because some of them may have not had much experience in the work place before joining the military. So, this is a new experience for them, and then our older veterans' may have been in the military for 20 or 30 years and when they left the work place and put their boots on, it's a very different place. [00:02:30] So, we wanna help them wherever they are in their careers.Robert Traynham:I'm curious, why is this the Housing Department of Labor Bill Metheny:Well, the Department of Labor is what the US government has designed to support labor needs and employment needs across the country. So, we Veterans' Employment Training Service are a subset that focuses on that veteran community, but takes advantage of this network enterprise that all of the Department of Labor can bring to bear to help these military members, veterans' and their spouses.
The Asian American Pacific Islander community makes up six percent of the U.S. population, but is growing more than four times as rapidly as the total U.S. population. Asians are the largest group of immigrants to enter the U.S. as immigrants. A conversation with Janelle Wong, Senior Researcher at AAPI Data about the fastest-growing but one of the understudied racial groups in the United States.
The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be hosted this summer in Seattle, with more than 4,000 athletes and coaches representing 50 states and the District of Columbia. Jason Schriml of the Special Olympics USA Games discussed the impact the games and this organization that highlights athletes with intellectual disabilities through highly competitive sports, uplifting experiences, and demonstrating inclusion for all.
Preparations are underway for the 2020 United States Census. A fair and accurate count of all communities is of major importance, as data gathered is used to determine federal funding, congressional representation and more. For some populations, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the process can be of concern due to immigration status, language barriers and fear of providing personal information. John Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC joins Robert Traynham to discuss the importance of an accurate count, especially for the AAPI population in America.
Filipino Americans make up the third largest subgroup of Asian Americans today, with millennials comprising nearly a quarter of this population. And while there about 4 million Filipino and Filipino Americans living in the U.S today, this population is underrepresented in political and leadership roles. Brendan Flores, National Chairman of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations joins Robert Traynam to discuss the welfare and well-being of Filipino Americans and efforts to strengthen the personal and professional development of young Filipino Americans.
According to the Pew Research Center, the U.S. Asian population increased 72 percent between 2000 and 2015, resulting in the fastest growth rate of any major racial or ethnic group. And as this population continues to grow, there remains a lack of involvement in politics and corporate leadership positions. Kendall Kosai, Deputy Director at OCA National discussed programs designed to help high school students explore their identity, and encourage them to become future community leaders.
Korean Americans, like many other Asian Americans, are recent immigrants to the United States, emigrating in large numbers after 1965. As first and second generation Americans, many still have close ties with their homeland, where family and friends still reside. A discussion with Sam Yoon, Executive Director of the Council of Korean Americans on the Korean American community, including their ties to both North and South Korea.
Jill Horner speaks with Gregory Burton, Vice President of Marketing and Communications from Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region, about their Campaign for Male Mentors. Interview recorded 5/16/2018.
We have to do a better job of protecting our children. We can build up school security by employing more Student Resource Officers. These sworn officers with special training in mental health and other issues will be a preventive measure against school violence.
The Florence DeGeorge Boys and Girls Club of West Palm Beach is getting some new and improved updates ahead of the upcoming school year.
Thanks to the success of Comcast Cares Day 2017, the athletic center unveiled its new soccer field and handed out hundreds of backpacks filled with school supplies to club members.
Interview recorded July 25, 2017.