Wednesday, May 27, 2009

CBCF Releases Resource Guide on Recovery Act for African Americans

WASHINGTON –The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) has prepared a resource guide - - for African Americans to highlight some of the major provisions within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that are critical to their community.

Commonly called the Economic Stimulus Package, ARRA is the most comprehensive economic recovery legislation in the United States since the New Deal of the 1930s. ARRA provides federal funding to states and local communities for projects and programs that will address budget shortfalls for critical issues, such as employment, housing, and health care.

“CBCF fully supports ARRA because it provides vital resources for improving the circumstances of African Americans and all Americans who have been disproportionately affected by the current economic crisis,” said Elsie L. Scott, president and chief executive officer for CBCF. “Our guide allows readers to quickly reference where funding is going for education, health, economic development and social welfare – all areas that can stimulate and boost the economy by creating and saving jobs in the private sector.”

A major source of job opportunities will come from training programs and projects. For example, $16.8 billion is allocated for energy efficiency and conservation block grants, including funding for weatherization assistance, $636 million for business loans programs and $50 million for YouthBuild to provide disadvantaged youth with education and employment skills, youth development and training activities.

“One of the most important aspects of the Act is that it is intended to quickly disburse funds to revitalize and improve our most economically vulnerable communities,” said Alana Hackshaw, Ph.D., and author of the guide. “This represents a major step forward for many in African-American neighborhoods. With the federal agencies working with those who are responsible for urban policies and the system of transparency and accountability among states and local communities in order to prevent waste, fraud and abuse of funds, we can begin to turn the economy around,” she said.

The guide is also available as a PDF.

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Inc. was established in 1976 as a nonpartisan, nonprofit, public policy, research and education institute to help improve the socioeconomic circumstances of African Americans and other underserved communities.

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