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Most African Americans Support Idea of Free College, Training

Most African Americans support the idea of free college or training and federal jobs guarantee, as well as universal basic income, as a response to job displacement, a new Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies report found.

The Racial Differences on the Future of Work report surveyed 1,115 whites, 667 African Americans, 619 Latinos, and 611 Asian Americans across the country to understand how people of color view changing nature of work and workforce issues nationally.

Nearly 85 percent of the black respondents expressed the highest support for the free college policy followed by Asian Americans, Latinos and whites, who also preferred receiving higher education at a 4-year, community or online institution to gain job skills.

When it comes to getting hands-on education and training, more people of color are likely to choose any option, including a college degree program, online college, community college, online training or a trade union in comparison to their white peers.

“In 20 to 30 years, people of color will constitute over half of all Americans,” said Spencer Overton, President of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. “Over that same period, a substantial majority of jobs will require some form of education or training beyond what’s offered in high school. Yet, most discussions of the future of work ignore the disproportionate effects it will have on communities of color.”

Teaching computer programming is one of the most impactful methods to prepare children for future jobs. About 25 percent of blacks, 24 percent Asian Americans and 23 percent Latinos endorse this view. Latino and white Americans were more likely than other racial groups to prioritize vocational training. However, most of the back workers don’t believe that technology provides more opportunity.

Researcher Ismail White and Harin Contractor found job security as is one of the most important benefits for Black and Asian American workers who value it more than the pathways to new opportunities and paid training.

Most of the workers, regardless of their race see financial constraints as a barrier to obtaining additional job training while others are willing to invest some of their own money to obtain additional job training leading to career advancement.

College Attainment in America by Race and Geography [Report]

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