On August 14, Joint Center President Spencer Overton was the opening speaker at the Black Economic Alliance’s “Future of Work” policy session in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts.
Spencer framed the discussion by discussing displacement from automation (of the 10 jobs that employ the most African American workers in the U.S., six are also on McKinsey’s list of the 10 jobs with the highest displacement potential). He also talked about the need to give lower-paid Black workers (like nursing assistants and personal care aides) pathways to move into “good jobs” with above-average pay and benefits (like MRI techs and physical therapy assistants). Spencer also emphasized that “place matters” because regions with significant job growth can provide Black workers with more opportunities, whereas even skilled Black workers can face difficulty finding work in regions with negative job growth.
Other panelists included Infor CEO Charles Phillips, The College Board Senior Vice President Steve Bumbaugh, Goldman Sachs Partner and COO Lisa Opoku, Ford Foundation President Darren Walker, and U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA).