Policy Recommendation 3:
Break Down Racial Disparities in Incomes and Assets

Objective 3.1:
Improve access to higher education.
  1. Regional leaders need to work with the area's four-year colleges, universities, community colleges and technical schools to develop focused campaigns to boost minority enrollment and ensure they have the resources to complete their training or degrees.
  2. These partners should actively engage in marketing campaigns targeting area minority high-school students.
  3. Work with minority student organizations to gain feedback on how institutions can better meet student needs, including programs that facilitate making the transition from associate's and training programs to four-year, post-secondary schools

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Objective 3.2:
Develop a coordinated workforce development strategy.
  1. Perform a comprehensive diagnostic of existing regional workforce programs on both sides of the state line, identifying who is doing what, who is being served, and who is being left behind and why
  2. Engage an umbrella group of local industry groups, workforce development leaders and educational institutions in an on-going dialogue on how they can work together to remedy weaknesses and gaps
    1. Ensure the system continually meets the skill needs of local industry
    2. Provide clear “career ladders” of training and educational opportunities to help employees ascend from low- to high-skilled occupations
    3. Connect minority youth to jobs to gain skills, experience and knowledge concerning the needs of employers

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Objective 3.3:
Establish regional prosperity campaigns to build the assets of low-income and minority residents.
  1. Organize a major effort to market the availability of Earned Income Tax Credits to low-income residents.
  2. Package together federal and state supports and utilize online screening tools to determine program eligibility and facilitate enrollment.

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