Joe Biden

Readout of White House Roundtable on Improving Job Opportunities for Communities Affected by Gun Violence

February 29, 2024

On Wednesday, February 28, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, the Office of Gun Violence Prevention (OGVP) and the Department of Labor (DOL) hosted a roundtable on improving job opportunities for communities affected by gun violence and discuss the connection between workforce development and violence intervention and prevention.

During the roundtable, DOL discussed its Growth Opportunities Program, which provides up to $85 million to improve job opportunities for youth in communities affected by violence and poverty. This recently announced funding opportunity supports programs that provide skills training through work-based learning, employment services, educational support and mentorship to youth and young adults in communities affected by violence, crime and poverty.

These funds provided by the Growth Opportunities Program build on efforts by the Biden-Harris Administration to prevent crime and promote public safety, including the President's American Rescue Plan, which helped states and over one thousand cities, towns, and counties across the country to invest over $15 billion in public safety and violence prevention. Communities have invested those funds to support additional police officers, expand community violence intervention, add crisis responders, and more. And in addition to key investments for schools to expand mental health services and violence intervention programs, BSCA provides $250 million in funding for community-based violence prevention initiatives.

We are already seeing the positive impacts of the President's strategy to prevent and reduce crime and gun violence nationwide. Cities around the country are experiencing historic declines in violent crime, and homicides are estimated to be down nationally 12% from 2022 to 2023. By comparison, during the final year of the Trump Administration in 2020, the United States saw the largest increase in murders ever recorded. We have also seen key provisions created by the BCSA begin to deliver results in making communities safer against gun violence, including enhanced background check provisions that have enabled the Department of Justice to stop more than 600 illegal gun purchases by prohibited persons under 21 years old, and the first ever federal gun trafficking and straw purchasing law.

The President knows more can and must be done, which is why OGVP, overseen by Vice President Kamala Harris, continues to identify executive orders to save lives, while also announcing new initiatives to encourage action at the state and local level. This past December, the Vice President convened 100 state legislators at the White House to launch the Biden-Harris Administration's Safer States Initiative, providing states with additional tools and the support they need to reduce gun violence—and we have already seen states begin to answer the call and implement these critical measures. Last month, the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Justice, also announced new executive actions to help promote safe storage of firearms that implement President Biden's Executive Order on promoting safe gun storage, which has been shown to dramatically reduce children's risk of self-inflicted harm and unintentional shootings.

These are just a few examples of the progress that is being made under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris to protect our communities, schools and children, and end the epidemic of gun violence that is leaving empty seats at dinner tables across the country.

The Second Gentleman also continues to show up for communities affected by gun violence, meeting with victims and families in Parkland, Florida; Uvalde, Texas; Highland Park, Illinois; and the Tree of Life Community in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This past December, the Second Gentleman also delivered remarks at the 11th Annual Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence.

In addition to representatives from the White House and the Department of Labor, the roundtable also included the following participants:

  • Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott
  • Kalef Jones, Member Success Manager, PowerCorpsPHL
  • Cindy Anderson, Program Manager, Employ Milwaukee Inc.
  • Marquita Felder, Program Director, MiSide
  • Tracey Carey, Midwest Urban Strategies Inc.
  • Jasmine Oglesby, Director of Trauma-Informed Practice, PowerCorpsPHL
  • Mishawn Freeman, Pathways Program

Joseph R. Biden, Readout of White House Roundtable on Improving Job Opportunities for Communities Affected by Gun Violence Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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