Sneak Peek: YI is Out to Save Youth Jobs

By Erin Hemlin

Did you know that the unemployment rate of young people was 16.3% last month? That’s more than twice the national average.

Although the youth unemployment numbers are brutal, Young Invincibles is determined to do something about it. Some of you may remember our National Youth Bus Tour from last year, where we visited 42 cities in 20 states and spoke with young Americans of every creed and color, to find out what issues are most important to them. As it turns out, young people at every level, post-high school, in college, and post-college, are preoccupied with one major concern: finding a j-o-b.

This spring, YI is embarking on another great adventure: finding superb job training facilities across the nation and bringing their great work to the attention of the public. Our Get The Facts About Youth Unemployment tour will target the best programs in the nation, highlight the successes of young people, and help spread the word about models that work.

Young Invincibles

Young Invincibles on the Campaign for Young America bus tour.

On the bus tour, we got a taste of great job training programs when we met with Focus Hope. We met participants who were learning job and life skills to help elevate themselves from a life with few options; with the guidance of Focus Hope, they obtain a GED, job training and even counseling.  The skills they develop help participants to gain valuable and employable qualities all while giving back to the community.

Our First Stop Will Be…

The Miami Beach Workforce Center, where young Floridians are learning skills from how to create a resume, to how to find employment opportunities for veterans, as well as how teens can find employment that fit their academic schedules. These young people are benefiting not only by learning basic skills, some are turning their lives around, gaining confidence, and escaping a life of poverty.

Amazingly, these social benefits come at very small cost to taxpayers, and the return on the investment is monumental.

As a country, we can invest in what’s working. Instead of cutting funding for youth job training, we can invest more money in programs, some of which pay back more than two dollars for every dollar spent. http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/Publications/PDFs/01-jcbenefit.pdf

The GET THE FACTS ABOUT YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT tour will be in full swing by the end of March. If you know of a great job-training program in your area you think we should visit, please call 202-534-3560 or email me at erin.hemlin@younginvincibles.org.

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