Janet Yellen: Addressing workforce development challenges in low-income communities

Speech by Ms Janet L Yellen, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, at "Creating a Just Economy", the 2017 annual conference of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Washington DC, 28 March 2017.

Thank you for this opportunity to be part of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition's annual conference. It is a pleasure to address a group of organizations committed to improving the lives of low- and moderate-income Americans and strengthening communities. I am especially pleased to be with you in 2017, which marks the 40th anniversary of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

As you know, the CRA requires banks to help meet the credit needs of the communities they are chartered to serve, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Since its enactment, the CRA has helped channel capital into communities and, in the process, supported innovative and effective approaches to community development.

We at the Federal Reserve take our CRA responsibilities seriously. We evaluate the CRA performance of the state-chartered banks we supervise and make the ratings and written evaluations public. We currently are improving our examination procedures and examiner training. We also work with our fellow bank regulators to continually improve our implementation of the law. And, as many of you know, we recently revised our interagency guidance to clarify how various community development activities are considered in assessing CRA performance, among them workforce development, which is my topic today.