(Cincinnati) -- More than 8,000 delegates to the National Urban League are talking about employment in American cities, and they're looking for ways to reduce the nearly 10% unemployment rate among African-Americans.
Vice President Joe Biden says jobs are coming back to the United States, and now, it's time to get people trained. Biden says every year, companies hire about 500,000 people from overseas because they can't find Americans who are qualified to do the work. But he also says many of those jobs don't require a 4 year degree.
Speaking Thursday morning, at the Duke Energy Convention Center, the Vice President says the United States needs to invest in skilled job training. Biden says there have been 668,000 manufacturing jobs created in the US in the last 52 months. He says the nation needs to focus on job training, so those positions are filled.
The Vice President also says there needs to be a bigger investment in infrastructure. He cited one study that indicates the country needs $3.6 trillion spent on roads, bridges, and water and sewer grids, and he says even a portion of that cost will translate into tens of thousands of good paying jobs.
Also speaking at the National Urban League Annual Conference, Mayor John Cranley says while Cincinnati has come far, it's still lagging in supplier diversity. Cranley says his administration is trying to clear the way for more minority-owned, and woman-owned businesses to get city contracts.
The theme for the conference is "One Nation, Underemployed".
Delegates also heard a plea from the chair of the Republican National Committee. Reince Priebus says Republicans are the party that can help urban populations with jobs, and affordable health care. He says the GOP wants a better relationship with black voters, and has hired full-time, year-round African-American community engagement specialists.
Priebus says he's been told by African-American Democrats that if Republicans don't vie for their support, they'll be taken for granted.