SPRINGFIELD – The budget impasse continues to hurt the black community as job programs that lift families out of poverty and provide good-paying jobs have ended operations. Without a budget the Transportation Construction Apprenticeship Readiness Training (TCART) program, which provides minorities, disadvantaged people and women with access and training to work in the highway construction trades is no longer functioning.
“The governor’s political battle over his turnaround agenda is killing jobs and opportunities for young black males in communities across the state,” Senator Emil Jones III, chairman of the Senate Black Caucus. “I just find it particularly interesting that the governor is willing to let successful job programs suffer, but cut deals to find funding for downstate prisons.”
As of May 15, 2015, the TCART program had generated 340 jobs for African Americans, women and the disadvantaged. The average hourly wage for participants is nearly $17 per hour, with more than 41 percent of those hired earning between $16 and $43 per hour.
“I believe government should be focused on trying to solve programs,” said Representative Marcus Evans (D-Chicago). “Bringing more income into the state through business growth and developing neighborhoods is the key to sustainable results. This governor talks about turning this state around – this program takes us in the direction of doing just that.”
The budget impasse has lasted an unprecedented eight months and is having devastating effects on the Black Community. It’s time for action.