The Magnolia Mediator

Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman speaks out on the changing dynamics of the 21st century workplace

workers for jobs in their community.

The new system also puts employers more squarely in the middle of helping us determine the kind of training that we are providing so we can make sure that the training actually leads to a job. We just signed the first historic partnership with the Bell Atlantic Co. (a regional telecommunications company) where we are working directly with them on their next set of job vacancies. [It] happens to be 2000 jobs that they are trying to fill right now-entry-level and midlevel jobs-in their company.

And you’re looking to do more of those kinds of things, particularly with young people?

I started something called the YO Movement, the Youth Opportunity Movement, around our young people to reclaim them, to make sure they are part of this economic mainstream, going forward. It’s particularly relevant when we talk about young African American males. Not only has the president committed $1 billion toward this effort, but we’re saying this is not just about the federal government alone. We’re trying to get partners in the private sector to literally adopt whole communities where we can provide training and job opportunities.

For more one-on-one with Secretary Herman, visit www.black enterprise.com.

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