About 12 people rallied outside the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Thursday to protest the racial disparity in employment in the St. Louis region.
White unemployment in the St. Louis area is 5.7 percent, African American unemployment is 14.1 percent. Organizers said they want the Fed to adopt policies focused on getting more people get back to work.
“It's not easy getting a job, when you are qualified even when you look the part,” one demonstrator said.
Organizers said the story of one attendee demonstrates the problem.
“When you do get the job, it's something to get you buy, but it's not a livable wage,” Ray Rounds said.
Rounds said he left a low paying job to go back to school at the Green Technology Training Program at St. Louis University.
“I'm certified in lead remediation, mold, asbestos, permit required confined spaces, hazardous material. I've got 17 of those certificates I was really proud of and I was ready to go to work,” Rounds said.
Rounds said he has not been able to land a job in the two years since he finished school.
“It's pretty frustrating because with all I thought that I had accomplished. It's meaningless because there are no jobs,” Rounds said.
Rounds has been attending rallies, working with churches and other organizations to try and make a difference. He hopes the contacts he has made will help him land a job.
Demonstrators also said they want to see more diversity on the Federal Reserve Board.