It’s been a while, so we’ll take a deep dive into the current (and complex!) issues surrounding paid family leave and affordable childcare. Plus, Iowa’s approach to apprenticeship programs, and a highly-readable look at some of the issues facing black small business owners.
The state of paid family leave in America
When a record-breaking number of women were elected to Congress, many people believed that legislation addressing the maternity leave and affordable child care crisis would be passed quickly. As more U.S. families send 2 parents out of the home to work, affordable childcare and paid family leave have become increasingly pressing issues on the social and political landscape. While the majority of Americans support some form of a government answer to the questions of parental leave and subsidized child care, businesses are much less inclined to take a favorable position when it comes to congressional intervention.
The Number: 82%. When it comes to supporting paid family leave, 82% of Americans believe that mothers should be given time off, while 69% support fathers getting time off as well.
The Quote: “Having kids for us has been financially devastating. That sounds dramatic, but it’s really true. … We’re on this financial ledge, where if something good doesn’t happen … we’re going to get pushed off.”
Iowa leads the way in apprenticeship programs
For most people, the word “apprenticeship” connotes a trade. The state of Iowa, however, is showing the rest of the country just how valuable apprenticeship programs can be for a whole range of industries. Iowa currently has the second-lowest unemployment rate in the country, and the state’s apprenticeship programs are an important resource for cultivating talent to meet workforce needs.
The Number: 2,000. While apprenticeships vary in length, registered apprentices log 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and spend at least 144 hours in the classroom.
The Quote: “We see them in the traditional roles, like trades, but we’re seeing the model work for every industry. We have programs in advanced manufacturing, IT, financial services, healthcare, and hospitality.”
Stereotypes sabotage black business owners
In this first-person essay, Nikesha Elise Williams takes a hard look at some of the stereotypes that face black business owners, and how she, a black female small-business owner, has supported these harmful notions herself. It’s a great read!
The Number: 3%. Despite the significant growth of black-owned businesses over the past decade, only 3% of buying power is spent at black-owned businesses.
The Quote: “I am a small-business owner. I am a black woman business owner. I’m an independent publisher and author. All of these facts could be knocks against me as reasons why others wouldn’t, won’t, and sometimes don’t support me.”