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The Clippers and Millennials: An Underdog Story

By Tamika Butler

The basketball battle for Los Angeles between the Lakers and Clippers has been particularly gratifying for me as I have been a long time Clippers fan…for two years or so (hey, it was before the trade for CP3 so I’m not just a bandwagon jumper). I don’t just watch the Clips because Blake can jump out of the gym, there’s the added bonus of seeing Khloe Kardashian cheer on Lamar from the front row with Kimye.

Clippers vs Lakers
by Flicker user Photo928

Beyond just schooling their opponents on the court, the Clippers have taught me a thing or two about tackling the job market in 2013.

The unemployment rates in the Clippers’ home state of California are as follows:

  • 15.1% of 25-34 year-olds with a high school degree
  •  11% of 25-34 year-olds with an associate’s degree
  • 7.9% of 25-34 year-olds with a bachelor’s degree

Click here to see numbers from your state.

Research shows that graduating into an economic downturn leads to lower wages for over a decade. And nationally, over 6 million young adults are considered “disconnected” because they’re neither working nor in school – a long-term problem that’s not simply the result of the Great Recession.

With Millennials still struggling, Young Invincibles is launching a Get the Facts campaign this spring to remind our leaders that youth unemployment is a true crisis.

As part of this campaign, we want to highlight what is working in communities across the country so that we can scale those up elsewhere. (Keep checking our website in coming months to find out more about these events).  But until you get to meet the YI team in your town, here’s one thing the “Showtime Clippers” can help you remember as you start off the New Year: unlike Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, who struggle to take advantage of those free points waiting for them at the foul line, make use of the freebies already in your community.

There are a number of skill-building and workforce development programs in every community to get young people engaged and plugged in. Many of these programs offer programs at little to no cost.  If you’re in LA, for example, there is the YWCA of Greater Los AngelesJob Corps. Nationally, Job Corps has 125 locations making this free training an option where you live!. Or, check out your local community college.  Community colleges are also more than just a great educational locale for first-time students, but also for ongoing training. The American Association of Community Colleges has a great online tool to find the community college closest to you.

Or you could always try out for the Lakers.  They need help.

Excited to learn more about the Get the Facts Campaign around youth unemployment? Email