Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson released the following statement regarding Black History Month:
“This year’s theme for Black History Month, Black Health and Wellness, recognizes the significant contributions of Black workers in the medical field and is especially relevant given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the heroic and steadfast actions of our medical professionals.
I sincerely appreciate the dedication and commitment of Black workers, many of whom served and are continuing to serve in essential jobs throughout the pandemic – doctors, nurses, home health care assistants, food processing workers, agricultural and grocery store workers.
The N.C. Department of Labor exists to protect the health and safety of all workers, but periodically considering and honoring the contributions of specific populations is also important. The Black community has experienced a long, dark history of exploitation and marginalization. Though our state and nation have made great progress, we have more work to do, and I am committed to collaborating with all groups and listening to all voices.
Our state cannot continue to thrive without placing equal value on the skills, knowledge and experiences of all North Carolina workers. If we devalue the role of any group, we are simply and unfortunately limiting our state’s potential achievements. While it is important to remember the contributions of widely known Black leaders, it is no less critical to recognize the countless workers who unassumingly perform essential jobs every day, but who may not be remembered in a newspaper or history book.
I am happy to partner with a statewide coalition of labor organizations that have raised Black worker issues and continue to advocate for policies that support the Black community.”
Commissioner of Labor