Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton has prioritized youth employment as one of the key issues for her work at the Clinton Foundation. Through Job One, the Clinton Foundation is bolstering an often-missed element from our national workforce training conversations: business-designed and -led career pathways for opportunity youth – young people who are both out-of-school and out-of-work.
More than five years have passed since the end of the Great Recession, and yet 5.6 million young Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 are out of school and out of work – a staggering number that strains too many local communities and limits long-term economic growth prospects in the United States. Economists have estimated that our youth unemployment challenge could cost the U.S. roughly $20 billion in lost earnings alone over the next decade.
Since its launch at the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America meeting, Job One has encouraged and spotlighted 16 CGI Commitments to Action that expand training, hiring or mentoring opportunities for youth, and build the business case for more companies to engage unemployed youth. Thirteen private sector businesses have announced Job One Commitments:
In addition, Secretary Clinton has announced Job One commitments by:
• Small Business Majority to recruit 100 small businesses across the country to adopt new youth employment actions
• Leaders Up, an innovative new organization, to create new training and hiring opportunities through the Starbucks supply chain
• North America’s Building Trades to launch a best-in-class pre-apprenticeship program for the high-paid skilled construction industry.
To encourage more partners to create new economic opportunities for youth across the country and to support these recent Commitments, CGI launched the U.S. Youth Employment Action Network. The Action Network will help CGI members share best practices and generate additional commitments over the coming year.