University of Pittsburgh
January 11, 2006

Local and National Experts Highlight Spring 2006 Speaker Series At Pitt's Center on Race and Social Problems

Lead-off speaker to address employment trends among young Black men Jan. 23

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH-Topics ranging from empowering girls to pursue productive futures to examining employment trends for young Black men will highlight the Reed Smith Spring 2006 Speaker Series at Pitt's Center on Race and Social Problems. All talks are free and open to the public and will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the School of Social Work Conference Center, 2017 Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland. Lunch will be provided and registration is not required. For more information, call 412-624-7382 or visit

The series kicks off Jan. 23 with an address from Harry J. Holzer, who will present a talk titled "Employment Trends for Young Black Men: Causes and Policy Implications." A professor of public policy and associate dean at Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute, Holzer has studied the low-wage labor market, particularly the problems of minority workers in urban areas. In recent years he has focused on employer skill needs and hiring practices as well as the employment problems of less-educated young men. He also is analyzing the turnover rates and job performance of welfare recipients in the workplace.

Before his appointment at Georgetown, Holzer served as chief economist for the U. S. Department of Labor, senior fellow at the Urban Institute, and a professor of economics at Michigan State University. His Multi-City Project on Urban Inequality generated a unique matched dataset on both low-wage workers and employers in a number of U.S. metropolitan areas.

Other presenters and the titles and dates of their presentations are as follows: Gwen Elliott, founder and CEO of Gwen's Girls, "Empowering Girls: Gender-Specific Approaches for Productive Futures," Feb. 14; Richard Schulz, director of Pitt's Center for Social and Urban Research,

"Enhancing the Quality of Life of Latino, Black, and White Dementia Caregivers: The REACH II Randomized Control Trial," March 15; and Orlando Patterson, the John Cowles Professor of Sociology at Harvard University and Special Advisor for Social Policy and Development to former Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley, from 1972 to 1980, "Father Absence Among African-Americans," April 5.

The Center on Race and Social Problems, housed in Pitt's School of Social Work, hosts a lecture series every spring and fall to provide an opportunity for faculty, students, and community members to engage in race-related discussions of mutual interest.