DNC 2012
10:07 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Huffington Post Shifts Focus From DNC To Jobs

The Huffington Post held a panel in uptown Charlotte Wednesday to discuss how to bring down the nation's high unemployment rate. The event was designed to shift focus away from politics during the Democratic National Convention and onto jobs.

The Huffington Post's editor-in-chief is on a mission. Arianna Huffington wants the news media  "including her own website" to focus less on politics and economic doom-and-gloom and more on what is working in the American economy.

She held a panel on that topic in Tampa last week and in Charlotte this week. She said the timing was deliberate.  

"During the conventions, when there are 15,000 credentialed media in search of a story, it's a great time to put a spotlight on job creation, on the fact that there are great things happening in this country," Huffington said. "There are startups being started everyday all around America."

Supporting startups that create jobs was a major discussion point during the panel, which Tom Brokaw moderated.

The panel also discussed how to help unemployed people get the skills they need for the changing job market. Here's Delaware Governor Jack Markell.

"Part of it means an incredibly close connection between local employers and community colleges, and for that matter the K-12 system," Markell said, "so close that we literally have local businesses writing the curriculum for the community colleges to make sure they’re teaching the precise skills that are valued in the market place today and tomorrow."

Also, musician will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas and actress Rosario Dawson talked about how to get young people excited for careers in science and math instead of sports and entertainment. Here's will.i.am:

"For me to tell these kids to take an interest in science, the have to think it's cool," will.i.am said. "Somebody has to remind them that science and technology and engineering and mathematics is the coolest thing in the world. In the recession the thing that didn't go down was all these phones that we have taking pictures. All the technology that we're using, it's recession proof. So these kids want to take an interest in it."

But the panel wasn't just about sharing ideas. It was also about getting commitments whether it's a major foundation offering millions of dollars to encourage job creation or a small business owner mentoring someone who's unemployed.

Huffington said those are the kind of things that'll get more Americans back to work.