*As President Barack Obama unveils initiatives to bolster the middle class, create jobs, and assist small business, Black Enterprise is bringing together BE100s CEOs, government officials, and economists to offer the administration solutions.

Dubbed “20/20 Vision: A Look Ahead at Black America in the Next Economic Boom,” sponsored by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the conference will take place Thursday in Washington DC and specifically address three key issues: education and workforce readiness, small business and innovation, and wealth-building and financial reform with the aim of developing a series of policy recommendations.

“We are bringing together business leaders, government officials, and economists to develop initiatives for short- and long-term job creation, education, economic development, small business innovation, and wealth-building targeted to the African American community,” says Derek T. Dingle, senior vice president and editor-in-chief of Black Enterprise magazine.

The forum will feature U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis; U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk; director of the White House Domestic Policy Council Melody C. Barnes; Commerce Department Chief of Staff Rick C. Wade; and Walmart SVP, Corporate Affairs Esther Silver-Parker. A series of policy recommendations developed at the day-long event will be presented to the White House, business groups, and civic and non-profit organizations.

More than 250 attendees from the world of business, government, media, and education are expected at the invitation-only forum in Washington, D.C.

“It is our intent for these panel discussions on jobs and workforce readiness, small business and innovation, and financial reform and wealth-building to inspire dialogue and debate that can be transformed into plans and action,” says Dingle.

Below, BE Next: Making the January 2010 Cover