Governor Listens to Concerns of Erie's African-American Communit - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Governor Listens to Concerns of Erie's African-American Community

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Members of Erie's African-American community are expecting more help from the state after a roundtable discussion with the Governor Tom Wolf this afternoon.

Wolf sat down with the African-American community leaders at the Climate Changers Halfway House on East 11th Street.  He listed to their concerns for an hour and a half.  Much of the discussion centered on employment.  1 in 4 African-Americans in Erie, currently,  do not have a job. The discussion also centered on a USA Today report, published in November.  It named Erie as the Worst City in America for African-Americans.

Many in the audience asked for increased funding  for educational and mentoring programs.  Both Governor Wolf and the community leaders believe today's session will produce results.

"I think this is a great and constructive thing and we need to energize this kind of thing and keep it going," said Wolf.

Terry Carson has a high-tech job at Erie Insurance.  He grew up with no African-American role models in the technical fields.

"It's good that these conversations have started.  But they can't stop.  It's not the end to this.  We have to continue to keep talking about these things.  Pushing people, challenging people," Carson said.

During the discussion, County Councilman Andre Horton urged the governor to approve, and fund, a proposed community college for Erie County.

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