Regional Leaders to Address 50th Anniversary of the War on Poverty on Wednesday

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Job Fair in Holtville has standing room only.
Job Fair in Holtville has standing room only.

EL CENTRO – August 20, 2014, marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Economic Opportunity Act – the official start of the War on Poverty.

That day, the Southern California Association of Governments and the Southern California Leadership Council will host a summit focused on economic and workforce development, bringing together stakeholders from business, education and public policy at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

Leaders from businesses, education, government and the nonprofit sector will gather to rethink the War on Poverty.

The War on Poverty has not been won.

Although government subsidy programs have lifted millions of families over the poverty line, they have not done a good job of moving people from dependency to self-sufficiency.

Factoring out those safety nets, the true “market poverty” rate today is actually higher today (28.7 percent) than it was in 1967 (27 percent).

The past 25 years have been particularly difficult. In the six-county SCAG region, including the Imperial Valley, the number of people living below the poverty line grew from 1.89 million in 1990 to 3.2 million in 2012.

Today, one in four children in the SCAG region live in poverty.

Job creation remains the biggest weapon in the War on Poverty.

Experts from business, education, government and nonprofit groups will speak on where and how our region can create jobs that move people from dependency to self-sufficiency.