Building Our Youth For The Future
|March 27, 2012|
|President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future." The L.A. Area Chamber understands that a good education and early work experience are key elements in preparing our youth. That is why HIRE LA’s Youth is so important to the future of our economy. |
Unfortunately, America’s future workforce was shortchanged last summer as youth employment numbers fell to record lows. Only 48.8 percent of youth between the ages of 16-24 were employed in July, the month when youth employment usually peaks. This was significantly lower than the 59.2 percent who were employed five years ago and the 63.3 percent who were employed 10 years ago. In Los Angeles, local youth would have been further shortchanged if not for the generous giving of corporate champions like Walmart, Wells Fargo, AT&T, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles County Bar Association and Vons.
During our advocacy trip to Washington, D.C. earlier this month, we urged federal investment in youth job training, workforce development programs and reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act, which focuses on demand-driven, public/private partnerships. White House staff members were in awe at the level of business and civic engagement taking place through HIRE-LA's Youth.
Realizing the potential of engaging the private sector, the White House has announced Summer Jobs+ 2012, calling on business leaders to step up and provide entry-level job opportunities for youth. The Chamber, with the support of key sponsors, including Walmart, Wells Fargo, Chase, Citibank and Ralphs, is ready to answer that call.
Youth jobs do NOT just benefit youth, they benefit our entire community. Studies show that when youth are actively involved in education and employment, they are more likely to stay away from gangs and drugs, and improve their chances of graduating from high school and attending college. Like Father Gregory Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries likes to say, “Nothing stops a bullet like a job.” Join us in this effort to prepare our future workforce.
And that's The Business Perspective.
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