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.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. residents experienced an average of 250,000 hate crimes each year from 2004 to 2015. Becky Monroe, Director of the Stop Hate Project with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights shares a conversation on combating hate by connecting community organizations with established legal and social services resources. Demonstrating community values of strength, unity, and inclusion can be an effective response to hate.
A recent study, funded in part by the Environmental Protection Agency, discovered that exposure to air pollutants is notably influenced by race. Jacqui Patterson, Senior Director of the Environmental and Climate Justice Program for the NAACP discusses the organization’s efforts in providing resources and supporting community leadership by addressing this human and civil rights issue.
According to a 2017 McKinsey & Company report, 50% of current work activities are technically automatable by adapting currently demonstrated technologies. Spencer Overton, President of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies discusses how automation strongly impacts the global workforce for African Americans. A life-learning approach is one way to adapt to the advancement of technology.
A cancer diagnosis can leave patients and caregivers feeling emotionally, physically and economically drained. Marci Schankweiler, Founder of For Pete’s Sake Cancer Respite Foundation discusses the benefits of a holistic approach to improving the quality of life on both sides, while getting a break from cancer.
93% of Littles in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program believe having a mentor is important to helping them achieve their goals. John Sanchez, Director of Programs for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the National Capital Area shares a discussion on a program geared towards preparing children for the corporate world through mentorship. Beyond School Walls brings children to mentors in the corporate world, introducing them to jobs at an early age, exposing them to new career paths and options for their future. The program offers convenience to mentors by coming to the workplace.
According to a recent report by the Institute for Policy Studies, by 2043, the wealth divide between White families and Latino and Black families will double from about $500,000 in 2013 to over $1 million. Dedrick Asante-Muhammed, Senior Fellow, Racial Wealth Divide at Prosperity Now shares how his organization is addressing this racial economic inequality.
And the Winner is.... Tracy's Kids! Comcast Newsmakers highlights this 10th annual event for Tracy's Kids, an organization devoted to helping young cancer patients and their families to cope with illness through art therapy. For more information, visit Tracy's Kids at www.TracysKids.org.
With commentary from: David Cohen, Jeff Miller, Matt Gerson, Dr. Aziza Shad, Tracy Councill, Ryan Tomoff, Rebecca Wilson, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Lisa Wilson, Devon Still, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Tom Marino, Sen. Rob Portman.
A new report from Georgetown University analyzes public spending. Sonal Shah from the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation at Georgetown University discusses ways to increase effectiveness while reducing cost. Visit the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation on the web at www.DriveImpact.org
According to the Identity Theft Resource center, nearly 700 data breaches were reported in 2014. Sally Greenberg of the National Consumers League addresses consumer protection and privacy. Visit the National Consumers League on the web at www.NCLnet.org