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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dismantling Disparity: Breaking Barriers to Employment


Dismantling Disparity: Breaking Barriers to Employment explores how the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the systemic discrimination Black workers have long faced. 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. Authors note the need for state and federal funding allocated to workforce development prioritize addressing the barriers that impact many Black workers.

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