ITT Technical Institute Closes, Impacting the Futures of 40,000 Students

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Contact: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 202-734-6510

ITT Technical Institute (ITT Tech) announced that it is closing all of its campuses in light of consumer protections implemented by the Department of Education prohibiting the institution from accessing federal financial aid programs when enrolling students. ITT Tech’s fraudulent and predatory business practices had resulted in lawsuits and investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and 13 state Attorneys General. Rather than adjust their model to address the various problems reported by students across the country, ITT Tech decided to close. This decision will have a major impact on the approximately 40,000 students across the country currently enrolled at the chain of schools, who are now left to forge a new educational path, and make some difficult decisions whether to pursue discharge for their loans and restart their education, or to transfer their credits to a new school.

Christopher Nellum, Young Invincibles’ Policy Director, issued the following statement: “The actions by the Department were an important step toward holding predatory schools accountable and preventing them from irresponsibly using students’ and taxpayers’ money without providing quality educational programs. While the closure will prevent further enrollment in ITT Tech, it’s important to remember that dedicated students trying to complete their degrees now must navigate the shutdown. We must make sure that those students who have been poorly served by ITT Tech are not saddled with debt they cannot repay and are not halted in their goal of getting a postsecondary education.

We are pleased to see the Department of Education has outlined possible paths for students, and we encourage them to make the applications for closed school discharges and the information about possible credit transfers and other local institutional options more widely available. We also renew a call for Congress to pass legislation to reinstate each student’s Pell Grant eligibility and, if applicable, G.I. Bill eligibility in situations like this, so that students can get a truly clean slate. Finally, we hope that increased data and transparency in our higher education system will ensure students’ and taxpayers’ money is protected from unscrupulous actors in higher education.”

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Young Invincibles, Assem. Weber, Students and Advocates Hail Final Passage of Campus Hunger Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 23, 2016

Contact: Nina Smith, nina.smith@younginvincibles.org301-717-9006

Young Invincibles, Assem.Weber and Advocates Hail Final Passage of Campus Hunger Bill 

The measure would ensure greater access to food resources for vulnerable students on California college campuses

SACRAMENTO, CA — Young Invincibles joined Assem. Weber (D-San Diego), students and fellow activists in hailing final passage of AB 1747 out of the California state legislature. If signed into law, the measure would eliminate bureaucratic barriers that prevent the Golden State’s most vulnerable students from accessing food resources on its college campuses. It now heads to Governor Brown for his signature.

“We are very pleased AB 1747 has achieved successful passage with strong support. AB 1747 allows the state to take a few small steps to reduce hunger and increase college completion for thousands of  California students,” said Gustavo Herrera, Western Director of Young Invincibles, a Millennial research and advocacy group leading organizing efforts for AB 1747. “We know that hunger and economic deprivation result in higher dropout rates for our most vulnerable students. By maximizing federal food assistance received and spent in California through AB 1747, we can not only ensure more students can access college, but also ensure they complete their degrees. We urge Governor Brown to sign this common-sense measure into law.”

“Nearly a quarter of students in the CSU system and nearly 20 percent of UC students are facing food insecurity,” Assem.Weber, AB 1747’s lead legislative sponsor said. “California should be finding solutions to support low-income college students, reduce hardships, and remove economic barriers to graduation. While some campuses are stepping up to address food insecurity and homelessness, many are not. AB 1747 is a vital step in connecting students with available resources to help improve campus climate and a student’s overall academic success.”

Frequently, students who’ve overcome significant challenges to attend college go hungry when they come to campus. For them, CalFresh, California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), has proven difficult to access. AB 1747 would address challenges students face accessing CalFresh, which provides federally funded food benefits for low-income Californians. Newly implemented state laws (AB 1930, Chaptered Bills of 2014) reduce barriers to application for CalFresh for low-income college students, but many students still don’t know about the rule change or how to apply.

“Vulnerable students who have made it to college are among California’s best and brightest students, and they shouldn’t be undermined by the indignity of hunger,” said Jessica Bartholow, policy advocate for Western Center on Law and Poverty, a co-sponsor of the bill. “AB 1747 takes meaningful steps toward protecting these college students from hunger and state investments in their education.”

Today’s legislative action is welcome news for current and former students for whom this issue is all too familiar. One advocate added, “I am shocked that almost 20 years later, food insecurity is still a major obstacle in beginning, thriving and completing one’s education,” said Kathleen Selke, an advocate working with Young Invincibles. “And with tuition and fees at both 4-year and 2-year institutions having risen 28 percent since the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis,  I fear for future students, including my four younger siblings who have yet to complete school as my experience discouraged them from going to college. With college tuition costing so much, something has to give and it shouldn’t be students’ health.  I am pleased to see our state’s lawmakers recognize the need for AB1747 and have taken action to ensure that we make providing students with the basic support they need while completing their degrees, such as access to affordable food, a priority.”

Should AB 1747 be signed into law, it would establish a fund to support partnerships between food banks and on-campus food kitchens and allow local partnerships to improve on-campus pantry food safety and increase the amount of food available. It would also allow for more information about on-campus pantries and will help the California Department of Social Services better serve low-income college students most at risk of dropping out of school.

California colleges have already taken steps to understand the growing student hunger crisis on campus. Senate passage follows the release of data pointing to a growing hunger crisis on California college campuses. According to a Cal State study released this year, one in four students go hungry on the system’s campuses. Another survey from the University of California Student Association found that 19 percent of UC students indicated they had “very low” food security. As a result of the survey, UC’s President Janet Napolitano approved $3.3 million in new funding over the next two years to help students access food on and off campus.

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July Jobs Numbers Make Case for Improving Apprenticeship Programs

By Tom Allison

While the national unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent in July, the rate for young adults ages 18-to-34 rose slightly to 6.9 percent (seasonably adjusted) from 6.8 percent in June. Notably, sectors with high prevalence of apprenticeships saw significant job growth. Those sectors include:

  • The construction industry added 14,000 new jobs in July, including 9,400 specialty trade contracting jobs.
  • Nearly 50,000 new jobs were created in health care and social assistance, including 17,000 new hospital jobs and over 5,000 in social assistance.
  • There were also 11,000 new jobs in durable good manufacturing (all estimates seasonably adjusted).

Among the other unadjusted unemployment estimates, we see that young people of color continue to struggle to find a job despite the fact that our national unemployment rate has fallen by more than half since the depths of the recession:

  • Young Latinos: 7.5 percent
  • Young Asian or Pacific Islanders: 6.0 percent
  • Young African Americans 12.2 percent

jobs july

 

Last week’s jobs report coincides with Young Invincibles’ release of a new report on apprenticeships, debunking myths about the program and making suggestions for improving the system. The job growth in sectors key for apprenticeships reinforces our recommendations to improve our apprenticeship system. Conducted in the Chicagoland area where young people face some of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, the study highlights three key misconceptions that Millennials hold about apprenticeships: that apprenticeship programs don’t currently exist in their communities, that apprenticeships don’t pay, and that participating in an apprenticeship means never receiving a college degree.

Based on these misconceptions about apprenticeships, as well as stated job preferences among Millennials, we advance six recommendations for building and branding youth-friendly apprenticeship programs.

When it comes to program structure, we recommend expanding pre-apprenticeship and job shadowing opportunities, creating more apprenticeships that provide the option to receive college credentials, and starting apprentices in cohorts. On the marketing side, we suggest being more explicit about wages, building innovative social media marketing strategies, and using near-peers as ambassadors.  Doing so will both build a broader base of Millennial support for these programs and ensure that those opportunities fit the needs of today’s young people.

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Learning To Work In Texas

Young workers make up a significant part of the Texas workforce, 39.7 percent of which is comprised of people between the ages of 16 to 34 years old. The state’s economic prospects rest on this generation’s ability to secure good jobs and to support themselves and their families. However, young people today are less likely to earn as much as previous generations, face skyrocketing higher education costs, and have dim prospects of social mobility as a result. 

Recognizing this, Young Invincibles launched the Texas Jobs Tour in 2015, a statewide listening tour that reached over 250 young adults in Texas, learning from their experiences confronting a workforce that is increasingly challenging to break into and to excel in. Guided by these conversations, and existing data around youth unemployment challenges both across Texas and locally in Houston, we detail an agenda for Houston and state policymakers that would build upon current initiatives to open up jobs and economic opportunity. To improve job search skills and connections to the job market, the state of Texas must strengthen high school advising programs and improve access to information about career outcomes at Texas Colleges. Local and state policymakers must also expand early work experience opportunities for young Texans. 

Please see our report, Learning to Work in Texas, for details on the policy agenda.

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Young Invincibles: Damaging House Labor-H Bill Passes Appropriations Committee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, July 14, 2016

CONTACT: Nina Smith, nina.smith@younginvincibles.org301-717-9006

Damaging House Labor-H Bill Passes Appropriations Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House Appropriations Committee today passed the FY 2017 Labor-H Appropriations bill via a nearly party-line vote, which would cut Pell Grants and restrict the Department of Education’s ability to protect students from predatory education providers. It would completely eliminate funding for apprenticeships, child care for student parents, and health care access for millions of young adults.

Rory O’Sullivan, deputy director of Young Invincibles stated the following:

“The House Labor-H appropriations bill passed out of committee today ignores the barriers to opportunity facing millions of young people across the country. Slashing funding for education and child care could prevent young adults from establishing lasting careers, caring for their families, and boosting their earning potential with a college degree. At a time when our generation could become the first in American history worse off than our parents, this bill would put economic security further out of reach for millions.

The cuts in this bill are expansive.  Pell Grants would lose $1.3 billion, limiting access to college for eight million students seeking a postsecondary credential. The bill would zero-out funding for on-campus childcare essential for young parents seeking a degree – something that has enjoyed longstanding bipartisan support. It would also expose vulnerable students to deceptive, high-debt education providers with an outright repeal of the Gainful Employment rule.

Even as youth unemployment remains 40 percent above the national average, this bill eliminates already meager funding to support businesses hoping to establish and expand apprenticeship training programs that lead to well-paid jobs and productive employees. Finally, the bill would defund aspects of the ACA critical to ensuring health care access for millions of young people.

Students and working families count on these resources to make a better life for themselves and for their families. We commend Members of the Committee who stood up in support of smart investments that help Americans achieve economic security.  And we remain hopeful that Congress can find common ground that ensures access to a quality, affordable higher education, health care coverage for millions of young adults, and alternative pathways to essential workforce credentials in future spending agreements.”

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Young Invincibles Applauds Bipartisan House Passage of FAFSA Simplification

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, July 11, 2016

CONTACT: Nina Smith, nina.smith@younginvincibles.org, 301-717-9006

Young Invincibles Applauds Bipartisan House Passage of FAFSA Simplification

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House passed HR 5528, the Simplifying the Application for Student Aid Act, a bill designed to enable students and families fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) more easily. The bill codifies recent changes to the FAFSA that allow students and families to use older tax data to fill out the form. This fix will provide families with more automatic responses using pre-existing data and limit delays that prevent filling out the form, resulting in more students and families receiving the aid they need to afford postsecondary education. Accepting older tax data to simplify and streamline the application process is a vital piece of Young Invincibles’ higher education reform agenda.

“The FAFSA is the gateway to critical financial resources for students and families, but far too often confusing forms prevent hardworking students from accessing college. Up to two million more students could receive financial aid if we enshrine changes to the FAFSA,” said Reid Setzer, Young Invincibles’ Deputy Director of Policy & Legislative Affairs. “We’re pleased to see bipartisan support for improving access to federal financial aid for students and families. The Obama Administration and House of Representatives deserve credit for standing up for students and we urge the Senate to pass the bill this year. We also look forward to seeing Rep. Scott’s FAFSA simplification proposal later this week that aims to further streamline the FAFSA process.”

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Young Invincibles Hails Unanimous Passage of Perkins CTE Bill out of House Committee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Thursday, July 7, 2016

CONTACT: Nina Smith, nina.smith@younginvincibles.org, 301-717-9006

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce passed out of committee HR 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, a bill designed to reauthorize the Perkins CTE program. The 37-0 vote advances the bill to the House floor. Perkins CTE allows states to fund robust career and technical education programs in high schools and community colleges, and enables students to get the training they need to prepare for future careers. Reauthorization of the program is an opportunity to advance reforms to help young Americans find work, as detailed in Young Invincibles’ Millennial Workforce Development Priorities Report.

“We celebrate bipartisan committee passage of a modern Perkins program that works better for young people. This bill is an important step toward creating a program that is responsive to the needs of employers and young workers alike,” said Reid Setzer, Young Invincibles’ Policy and Legislative Affairs Analyst. “Aligning Perkins with other federal workforce programs and improving the metrics used to evaluate success will strengthen the program long-term and help relieve high youth unemployment. We look forward to Congress continuing their work on improving aspects of Perkins on the path to reauthorization in the coming months.”

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Young Invincibles: House Labor-H Bill Threatens Higher Education Access For Hardworking Students and Families

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

CONTACT: Nina Smith, nina.smith@younginvincibles.org, 301-717-9006

House Labor-H Bill Threatens Higher Education Access For Hardworking Students and Families 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the House Appropriations Committee released their version of the FY 2017 Labor-H Appropriations bill, which includes regressive cuts to Pell and provisions that restrict the Department of Education’s ability to regulate higher education institutions.

Rory O’Sullivan, deputy director of Young Invincibles, said the following:

“At a time when tuition and student debt levels are exploding, the House version of the Labor-H appropriations bill released today slashes financial aid for hardworking students across the country. Taking $1.3 billion from Pell Grants threatens to make college less affordable for over eight million low- and moderate-income individuals. Worse still, the bill strips out critical protections that ensure minimum educational outcomes for students attending career colleges. Finally, the bill cuts $100 million from apprenticeships expansion efforts, an essential tool to modernize our workforce and ensure young people have the skills to achieve successful careers. Now more than ever, our generation needs effective education and training beyond high school to achieve economic security and this bill would make those opportunities harder to reach.

We’re disappointed in the current bill, but we remain hopeful that during the upcoming markups, and in the months to come, common sense solutions to fix higher education will prevail over measures that threaten access for millions of hardworking students and families.”

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Summit Takes on Challenges Facing Changing Workforce by Employers and Millennials

For Immediate Release

Contacts:
Marjorie Parker, Deputy Executive Director, JobsFirstNYC
646-738-5677⏐mparker@jobsfirstnyc.org

Nina Smith, Communications Director, Young Invincibles
202-734-6529 ⏐nina.smith@younginvincibles.org

Convening in New York City will engage young adults on policy solutions to better their economic standing and deliver cross-sector strategies to address the growing need for skilled talent

New York, NY, July 6, 2016 JobsFirstNYC and Young Invincibles in partnership with the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, and the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island Chambers of Commerce, announced today that they will hold a two-day convening: Adapting to the Future of Work: Creating the New York City Future Talent Pipeline, to be held July 20-21, 2016 at Baruch College at the City University of New York. The event will bring together national and local businesses, employer intermediaries, trade associations, philanthropies, nonprofits, and young adults to deep dive into challenges, strategies, and policy considerations around how the changing workforce impacts Millennials.

The first day of the convening includes a business breakfast on July 20th, featuring leaders from Gap Inc., JPMorgan Chase, Swiss Post Solutions, and others, sharing the talent development strategies they are using to increase both business productivity and young people’s access to meaningful employment opportunities; followed by an event for philanthropies and public sector and nonprofit executives, featuring leaders of WorkLife Partnership and Year Up, amongst others. Finally, the convening will culminate on July 21st with a full-day summit for young adults, ages 16 to 24, that will include dynamic presentations and workshops with entrepreneurs, business leaders, advocates, and policymakers to engage young adults on what the changing economy means to their generation and to build a movement of young adult activists and leaders to be a part of shaping the future of work.

“The demographics of employees are changing and so are employees’ expectations, values, attitudes, and styles of working. Conventional management models must be replaced with leadership approaches adapted to the future employee. As a Director of Training and Organizational Development at Swiss Post Solutions (SPS), I have a responsibility to rethink our traditional structure, how we empower employees, and what they need to do to remain competitive in a rapidly changing world. This is reflected in the positive impact our trainings and team development strategies have on the lives of our future employees.”

Adapting to the future or work has helped SPS:

  • Stay ahead of the competition
  • Attract and retain top talent
  • Rethink management
  • Structure effective teams
  • Create better leaders
  • Embrace flexible work environments
  • Respond to the changing workforce
  • Build the organization of the future”

- Paul Ortega, National Director of Training & Organizational Development, Swiss Post Solutions Inc.

“Young people are dealing with some of the worst economic conditions in our economy, including declining wages and crushing student debt. That is why we are bringing together hundreds of young adults for a first-of-its-kind convening to jumpstart a movement and remove barriers to economic opportunity in New York City,” said Kevin Stump, Northeast Director of Young Invincibles. “We all have a role to play when it comes to advancing economic opportunity for the next generation of New York workers. This event will empower young adults to act as changemakers in their communities, equip them with the tools to succeed, and help them shape a 21st century economy that is inclusive and fair.”

Business Breakfast
On the morning of July 20th, JobsFirstNYC and Young Invincibles have partnered with the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island Chambers of Commerce as well as Swiss Post Solutions, Modell’s Sporting Goods, Wildlife Conservation Society, Benchmarc Restaurants, and UncommonGoods for discussion on how New York City businesses can adapt to advances in technology, changing economic trends, and demographic shifts by creating cost-effective talent pipeline development.

We will hear from executives from Gap Inc., Swiss Post Solutions, JPMorgan Chase, and others on internal business strategies to efficiently recruit and retain young talent. Representatives from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, WorkLife Partnership, and Year Up, will lead a discussion on successful multi-sector partnerships to offset the rising costs of HR while addressing skill gaps for middle-wage, middle-skill jobs.

Those interested in attending the Business Breakfast can register at http://goo.gl/37wDrg.

Philanthropy and Nonprofit Executives Session
On the afternoon of July 20th, nonprofit executives and philanthropy will explore opportunities for the evolution of the nonprofit workforce development sector.

Social enterprise models, benefit corporations, and alternative staffing organizations are all intriguing options for workforce nonprofits, but getting these projects off the ground can be difficult, risky, and expensive. Moreover, many young workers are entering the economy just as contract-based work, or freelancing, is beginning to proliferate every industry from customer service, to technology, to transportation. How can nonprofits and philanthropy work together to build models that grow towards self-sufficiency and prepare young adults for the current gig or sharing economy, while maintaining existing programs and services?

Those interested in attending the Executive session can register at http://goo.gl/PmajgT.

Young Adult Convening

On July 21st, JobsFirstNYC and Young Invincibles have partnered with the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) to bring together 16-24 year-old New Yorkers to discuss the future of work.

Using the theme of, “Me, My Community, and My City”, the day will include workshops on entrepreneurship and professional development for the jobs of the future; a presentation from New York City Council Members on how young adults can work as agents of change to shape the future of workforce and economic policies; and a panel and workshops on advocacy strategies to advance economic equity for all future New York City workers. The day will also include performances from local young artists.

Young adults interested in attending July 21st can register at http://bit.ly/28Wmt9T.

Philanthropic Support

This event has been made possible with support from The Clark Foundation, the Ira W. DeCamp Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and the New York Community Trust.

JobsFirstNYC is a neutral intermediary and a champion for the workforce needs of out-of-school, out-of-work young adults in New York City. Our mission is to improve the system for young adults by bringing together — effectively and efficiently — all available community, corporate, private and public resources to accelerate the connection of out-of-school, out-of-work young adults with the economic life of New York City. | www.jobsfirstnyc.org

Young Invincibles
Young Invincibles is a national organization, working to elevate the voices of young adults, ages 18 to 34, and to engage them on the most pressing issues facing their generation. Young Invincibles guarantees that young adults are represented in today’s top societal debates through cutting-edge policy research and analysis, and innovative campaigns that educate, inform andmobilize the Millennial generation to change the status quo. |www.younginvincibles.org

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Tepid May jobs report underscores need for innovation and reform

 

MayJobs 2016

Looking at some of the headlines for the May jobs report, you’d think America’s employment situation is in rough shape. After all, the economy added only 38,000 jobs, the slowest growth since 2010. Some speculated that Fed Chair Janet Yellen might delay interest rate hikes due to the sluggish job growth.

The monthly jobs report can be sliced and diced different ways though, and May’s report shows some interesting trends for young adults. But further analysis points to persistent inequities for marginalized communities and it underscore a need for innovation and targeted reform in our employment system. With that in mind, it’s worth it to take a step back, and look at these  trends. This month, we compare the unemployment rates for young adults, broken out by demographic between May 2015 and May 2016.

By this comparison, the employment picture for young adults improved overall since last year. The unemployment rate facing young African Americans declined 2.6 points, and young Latinos’ rate declined 1.9 points. However, rates of unemployment for young people of color are almost double their white counterparts. This is clear evidence that structural disparities remain and more work needs to be done on workforce policy and college affordability to improve our economy overall.

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