Sep 23
September 23, 2014

Job One, Phase Two: Tapping the Talent of America’s Youth


Even six years out from the Great Recession, the economic challenges facing America’s youth are tremendous. Without targeted efforts to engage these young people, we’re losing a vital source of momentum for the recovery of our economy and stunting the potential of generations to come.

Nearly 6 million young men and women are out of school, out of work, and getting out of reach of the American Dream. This is an enormous gap in our labor force that economists believe could cost the United States more than $20 billion dollars in lost earnings over the next 10 years.

In June, during the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America Meeting, Secretary Clinton announced Job One – a major set of commitments from 12 leading businesses and nonprofits focused on improving employment training, hiring, and mentorship pathways for youth in the United States.

Three months later, key stakeholders and employers across all sectors are continuing to build partnerships through Job One that create extraordinary opportunities for America’s youth to access real-world jobs skills training and work experience.

Today, at the 10th Annual Meeting of CGI in New York City, Secretary Clinton announced three new Commitments to Action that exemplify Job One’s dedication to recognizing and raising the potential of underserved youth across the country:

  1. Skin care company Dermalogica committed to launch FITE Entrepreneurs:  Salon Industry Careers for Women, their first effort in the United States, to provide intensive training and support for unemployed young women to enter the high-wage salon and beauty industry.

  2. Through strategic partnerships and investments in Western Shoshonne tribal communities, the Barrick Gold Corporation is committing to create a local talent base in Nevada to improve graduation rates, expand vocational education, and build career pathways.

  3. North America’s Building Trades is committing to create a new pre-apprenticeship program though its new C.H.O.I.C.E. program in the greater Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Northern Virginia region to equip young people with training and support from organized labor, businesses, and nonprofits to enter the skilled construction industry.

Through these commitments, we’re helping build an evidence-based case for underserved youth as real sources of talent and innovation for the business community. And as we move forward in our efforts with Job One, we’re working on new ways to engage and educate that community to invest in youth employment opportunities.  

Today, we held the first in-person meeting of the new CGI Action Network on U.S. Youth Employment to help provide information, tools, and resources for new business and nonprofit partners to develop future commitments. At the meeting, CGI America commitment makers Year Up, Employment Pathways Project, Mentor, Opportunity Nation, and the AdCouncil launched an exciting new multimedia PSA campaign called Grads of Life that will help drive employer demand for the millions of low-income young adults who are sources of untapped talent for businesses across the country.

Through www.GradsofLife.org, employers can now access the first-ever online platform for non-traditional youth employment strategies. As a virtual action network like the one we’ve created for Job One, participants can join discussions with key stakeholders about mentoring, school-to-work transitions, internships, and hiring pathways for young people with atypical resumes. The website invites employers, educators, non-profits, and community leaders to join what Secretary Clinton calls "a bold agenda to grow our economy and to create new opportunities for tomorrow's leaders."  To learn more about the Grads of Life campaign, visit www.GradsofLife.org.

This issue can’t be solved by any individual company, or even 10 or 100 businesses.  At the Clinton Foundation, we are building a movement of employers to recognize the tremendous talent and business impacts of engaging America’s youth.  We encourage you to join us at www.clintonfoundation.org/job.