Joint Center News: Recap of November 2017

In November, the Joint Center and NALEO unveiled our Hill staff diversity collaboration, and we welcomed Stanley Ray (left) as our new Director of Operations! Details below.

The Joint Center spoke about the future of work at National Action Network, CBC, RainbowPUSH, and Politic365 events. The Joint Center and NALEO also unveiled our Hill staff diversity collaboration. Read about what we’ve done this month below!

Joint Center Moderates CBC Blue Collar STEM Briefing: On November 7, Spencer moderated the Congressional Black Caucus briefing on Blue Collar STEM: The Future of the U.S. Workforce. The briefing was presented by the Co-Chairs for the CBC’s Technology and Infrastructure Development & Education and Labor Task Forces: U.S. Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson, Val Demings, Frederica Wilson, Bonnie Watson Coleman, and Danny Davis. Several other Members of Congress participated, including CBC Chair Cedric Richmond, Education and Workforce Ranking Member Bobby Scott (pictured above), and U.S. Representatives Joyce Beatty, Yvette Clarke, Marcia Fudge, Brenda Lawrence, Stacey Plaskett, and Marc Veasey. Panelists included Morgan State VP Victor McCrary,’s Pat Yongpradit, Opportunity@Work’s Jacqueline Rodriguez, and the Learning Partnership’s Steve McGee. Click here to watch the panel.

Joint Center Talks Future of Work at Rev. Sharpton’s NAN Conference: On November 2, Joint Center President Spencer Overton spoke at the National Action Network’s Annual Legislative & Policy Conference’s opening reception. His remarks highlighted the fact that 27% of Black workers are concentrated in just 30 occupations that are at high risk to automation. Compared to whites, Black workers are over three times more likely to be bus drivers, taxi drivers, and security guards—all occupations at high-risk to automation. He also emphasized that the current labor market shifts present new opportunities to disrupt generations of racial inequality.
Joint Center Speaks at Politic365’s Release of “Ensuring Equity in the Innovation Economy”: On November 14, Politic365 released its annual Blueprint for Universal Economic Inclusion report on Ensuring Equity in the Innovation Economy. Speakers included Rep. Barbara Lee, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rep. Val Demings (pictured above), USBC President Ron Busby, MMTC President Kim Keenan, Politic365’s Kristal High Taylor, Brookings Fellow Nicol Turner Lee, PPI’s Michael Mandel, Spencer, and others. Spencer spoke on the future of work, devising strategies to install 5G infrastructure in communities of color, and positioning minority contractors and workers to install 5G infrastructure. Click here to read the report.

Joint Center Talks Future of Work at Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Symposium: On November 15, Rainbow PUSH Coalition & Citizenship Education Fund’s Annual Media & Telecom Symposium organized a session “How Automation Will Affect the Future of Work for Communities of Color” at the AT&T Forum for Tech. Speakers included Black Female Founders CEO Erin Horne McKinney, DC Employment Services Director Odie Donald II, AirBnB’s Janaye Ingram, and MMTC President Kim Keenan. Panelists discussed whether robots will replace people, skills needed in the new economy, and how technology can lower barriers to business ownership.21 Jobs of the Future: Cognizant recently published this report outlining 21 new jobs they believe will emerge over the next 10 years that will create mass employment for those displaced by technology. These aren’t the conventional and well-understood emerging jobs (e.g., cybersecurity developer, cloud computing programmer). Instead, they are jobs like cyber city analyst, quantum machine learning analyst, and augmented reality journey builder.

Tesla Unveiling Self-Driving Truck: Elon Musk is slated to unveil a Tesla semi-truck with self-driving technology this week. Read more here. There are currently 3.5 million truckers in the U.S. in addition to about 5 million workers in other parts of the industry. The Joint Center recently updated this data brief that reveals heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers alone account for 1.7 percent of the entire Black workforce (299,000 Black workers).

Policymakers Need to Focus More on the Future of Work: In his new book Will Robots Take Your Job?, Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies President Nigel Cameron asserts that DC policymakers need to talk much more about the impact of automation on work. In an interview with the Atlantic, Cameron talks about moving the federal government to the West Coast so it will be more forward looking, and argues that the traditional STEM push has limitations because STEM jobs will be among the first to be automated. Read the full interview here.

Joint Center and NALEO Partner on Staff Up Congress: OnNovember 1, the Joint Center and NALEO Educational Fund publicly announced their new partnership on Hill staff diversity by unveiling Staff Up Congress. Speakers included Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, NALEO President Arturo Vargas, Spencer, Democracy Fund Governance Director Betsy Hawkings, and Democracy Fund Constructive Politics Associate Director Laura Maristany. Staff Up Congress will work to expand our capacity to grow the pool of candidates for Congressional staff positions, develop individual candidates’ skills and networks, and persuade hiring managers to actively consider and recruit candidates in an inclusive manner. Special thanks to the Joint Center’s Don Bell and Keith Rogers for their work on this partnership!
Joint Center’s Don Bell Talks Networking with Financial Services Professionals: On November 16, Black Talent Initiative Director Don Bell spoke at a Financial Services Professionals (FSP) event on networking. The FSP is a non-partisan association whose members come from the federal government (Congress, Administration and regulatory agencies), banks, law firms, government relations firms, trade associations, corporations, and universities.

Welcome Director of Operations Stan Ray: We are excited to welcome Stanley Ray as Director of Operations! Stan has an extensive background in operations and accounting, and he has worked with David Falk (Michael Jordan’s agent), the Navy, and Arthur Andersen. Stan’s first day was during the Rainbow PUSH conference, and he’s pictured above with Rev. Jesse Jackson. Click here for Stanley’s LinkedIn profile.

history here). Today, the Joint Center remains anchored in the Black community and collaborates closely with organizations from other communities. We focus on the future of work in communities with significant African American populations. We also work to increase diversity among staff in Congress.