National Black Chamber of Commerce Urges Congress to Reverse Job-Killing 'Gainful Employment' Rule

Jul 08, 2011, 12:52 ET from National Black Chamber of Commerce

NBCC President, Harry Alford, Calls for Investigation into Corrupt & Flawed Education Department Rulemaking Process

WASHINGTON, July 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Black Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Harry Alford today testified at "The Gainful Employment Regulation: Limiting Job Growth and Student Choice" joint committee hearing on his opposition to the highly controversial 'Gainful Employment' rule which was formally introduced on June 2. The hearing was convened by the Education and the Workforce's Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending.

In his testimony, Alford cited the detrimental effects that the 'Gainful Employment' rule will have on job growth, especially in the Black community, where the unemployment figures currently hover at 16 percent overall, and at 45 percent among Black teenage males. He also reiterated widespread charges of a corrupt and flawed rulemaking process. Alford pointed to secret backroom meetings between Wall Street short-sellers and Education Department officials and a biased GAO report was eventually redacted because of errors and false information.

"The Gainful Employment Rule is a JOB KILLER," said Alford. "It stifles opportunity for our most at-risk students, and threatens their ability to get the job training and skills they need. It should be a primary goal of the Federal government to foster as broad a range of educational opportunities as possible, especially for minorities, who are most at risk for drop-out and unemployment.  Why then, when for-profit schools offer a viable path for so many minority students, would the Department of Education be selectively targeting these schools and threatening their very existence?"

Alford urged both committees to conduct follow-up hearings to investigate Education Department officials under oath and query their involvement with Wall Street short-sellers throughout the rulemaking process.

He called upon Congress to reverse the rule through the Congressional Review Act and start the rulemaking process over again. A serious process would address the broad student debt crisis in America across all institutions of post-secondary education, rather than conduct a 'witch hunt' among a relatively small number of proprietary schools that educate a disproportionately large number of minority students.

Click here to view Alford's full written testimony.

About NBCC

The NBCC reaches 100,000 Black owned businesses. There are 1.9 million Black owned businesses in the United States. Black businesses account for over $138 billion in annual sales. African Americans have over $1 trillion in expendable income each year according to the US Bureau of Census. The National Black Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to economically empowering and sustaining African American communities through entrepreneurship and capitalistic activity within the United States and via interaction with the Black Diaspora.

For more information, please call NBCC at (202) 466-6888 or visit

SOURCE National Black Chamber of Commerce