At a jobs and economic summit held last week, Congresswoman Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, was joined by United States Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, and the two laid out the accomplishments that have been made on the employment front in the last two years and reminded people of what economic aid is still available.

According to Bass, enactment of the federal stimulus bill crafted by President Barack Obama and his team, saved about 3 million jobs particularly for workers in the public sector like teachers. Solis added that at least 1.8 million private sector jobs have been created in the last several years and that the manufacturing sector is making a strong comeback.

Bass also said that California was bailed out by federal stimulus funds at a time when the state economy was particularly fragile.

Housing, on the other hand, which was one of the hardest hit areas of the state’s economy, is projected to recoup much more slowly.

Bass also reminded attendees that there are a number of apprenticeship programs in the construction trades that are recruiting, particularly African Americans. Additionally, the congresswoman noted that there are still quite a few stimulus funds that have not been distributed by Sacramento.

Consequently, it is imperative to keep track of the projects that are planned and explore how they might be able to benefit the African American community through jobs or other ways. This can be done by visiting the website