Employers nationwide are working with their communities to answer President Obama’s Summer Jobs+ call-to-action to provide pathways to employment for low-income and disconnected youth ages 16 – 24 this summer and beyond.
In support of Summer Jobs+, Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) will partner with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Fresno County to provide summer employment opportunities for underserved youth from Central Fresno. With a $200,000 investment from PG&E, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County will provide career exploration and job skills training to more than 150 young people ages 15-18. Fifty youth from the program will be invited to compete for summer jobs with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County, local nonprofit organizations and local businesses.
“A summer job can not only help ease the burden of back to school costs, it can help provide self-esteem, discipline, self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment that can last a lifetime,” said Diane Carbray, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County.
This partnership comes at an unprecedented time for youth unemployment: the 2011 unemployment rate for young people ages 16-24 set a record low, and only 21 out of every 100 teens from low-income families had a job last summer.
President Obama proposed $1.5 billion for high-impact summer jobs and year-round employment for low-income youth ages 16-24 as a part of the American Jobs Act, but Congress failed to act. That’s why the President launched Summer Jobs+ in January to challenge the public and private sectors to create youth employment opportunities beginning in summer 2012.
“PG&E is proud to help Fresno’s young people find jobs in this challenging economic environment,” said Greg Pruett, a Fresno native and senior vice president who serves as chairman of the PG&E Corporation Foundation. “Assisting them will provide a valuable boost for the businesses that take part, benefiting the entire Fresno community. It’s just one more way PG&E is giving back to the communities we’ve been a part of for more than one hundred years.”
By investing in the success of youth in the communities it serves, PG&E is building its pipeline for the next energy and utility workers. In this “all hands on deck” moment, partnerships like these are essential for connecting young people to successful careers and addressing our economic challenges.
Marta Urquilla is a Senior Policy Advisor in the Domestic Policy Council Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.