(Santa Fe, N.M.) - The potential for racial equity to significantly increase economic growth nationally, in states and communities was front and center today as WKKF’s President and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron took the stage with Gov. Steve Bullock in a plenary conversation about Racial Equity in the Workplace. The livestreamed conversation was part of the National Governors Association summer meeting in Santa Fe.
Tabron highlighted the Business Case for Racial Equity, and focused on both the social and economic benefits and competitive advantages created by advancing racial equity and achieving equitable outcomes. Gov. Bullock’s questions inquired about the impact of specific trends across states, including automation and artificial intelligence, employment, the lack of affordable, high-quality child care options, the rural workforce, retraining mid-career workers for in-demand jobs and the steps governors can take to promote more equitable outcomes.
The need for steady, quality jobs and related issues like transportation was also discussed. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder commented that one of the barriers keeping structurally unemployed people from steady jobs is a lack of transportation. Transportation is key in connecting people to either work or training. In Detroit, a priority place for WKKF, the bus service doesn’t get people out to the suburbs where there is job growth nor quickly or conveniently to the redeveloping areas of Downtown. “We need to partner and strategize with public officials, such as the governors in this room, and organizations to create resources, so we can get workers into better jobs to eliminate systems that perpetuate inequality,” said Tabron.