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By Adriana Zyskowski

FACT: The unemployment rate of young adults is twice the national average.

FACT: There are across-the-board budget cuts affecting workforce development programs.

FACT: Dismal job prospects are leaving young adults unsure about their economic future.

After we took a look at some of the cold, hard facts, we thought we should learn first-hand about innovative solutions to youth unemployment.


So, this past spring and summer we traveled across the country to Get The Facts About Youth Unemployment. We targeted some of the best programs in the nation, highlighted the successes of young people, and helped spread the word about models that work.

As our national campaign wraps up, we are excited to host a few more events in California! With the unemployment rate for young adults in California standing at 20.2 percent—about twice the state average, it’s vital to highlight workforce training and job creation programs. Expanding these programs to help our generation is vital.


On Tuesday, September 24, we partnered with Civicorps to bring together youth, political leaders, and community activists to address issues such as health, youth engagement, career opportunities, safe communities, and more in Oakland. With a panel made up of elected officials such as Mayor Jean Quan, Assemblymember Rob Bonta, and Oakland Interim Police Chief Sean Whent, young people were able to present their ideas about creating positive change in their communities and stand up as leaders.


Tomorrow, September 27, we are co-hosting a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to honor the opening of the Orange County Conservation Corps Charter School. Officials such as Mayor Bruce Whitaker, Senator Lou Correa, and Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva will be in attendance to show support. Sometimes called a “Second Chance at Success,” for thousands of young adults, the OCCC is a last chance to avoid gangs, stay free of drug abuse, avert incarceration, and ultimately ensure a positive life for themselves as working, productive members of our community.

While we are bummed that the campaign is coming to an end and we can no longer travel around visiting amazing organizations, we are thrilled to learn that not only do these programs exist—they actually work! Check out what we have found across the country, and share your employment struggles and successes with us on Twitter @YI_Care!