Yesterday was a major step forward for the President’s initiative to connect young people with meaningful summer employment opportunities. The Summer Jobs+ Bank went live and now allows young people across the country to search for employment and professional development opportunities in their local communities. Michael Strautmanis, Counselor to the Senior Advisor for Strategic Engagement, traveled to San Diego, CA for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s annual convention. He lauded them for their commitment to provide professional development opportunities to 30,000 youths this summer. At the same time, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced the jobs bank launch in Philadelphia, PA. Learn more about this announcement and the broader Summer Jobs+ initiative below.
Secretary Solis Announces Nearly 300,000 Summer Opportunities and Summer Jobs+ Bank for Youth
Yesterday, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis joined Mayor Michael Nutter at Philadelphia’s City Hall to announce the launch of the Summer Jobs+ Bank and to highlight the progress of the Summer Jobs+ initiative. Summer Jobs+ is a call-to-action from President Obama and the Department of Labor for businesses, non-profits, and government to provide pathways to employment for low-income and disconnected youth in the summer of 2012. Dozens of companies and non-profit organizations, as well as cities, federal agencies, and the White House, have joined together to provide nearly 300,000 opportunities for young people. Secretary Solis said, “The Summer Jobs+ Bank and the growing list of organizations stepping up to answer the President's challenge are important to maintaining our commitment to the next generation of the American workforce.”
Summer employment opportunities serve as pathways to careers and are critical to the success of young people, good for business, and important for our country. But today’s youth are struggling to get the work experience they need for the jobs of the future: last summer, the unemployment rate among youth ages 16-24 set a near record high, and only 21 out of 100 low-income teens had a job. According to a recent report, taxpayers shouldered more than $93 billion in direct costs and lost tax revenue to support young adults disconnected from school and work in 2011 alone.
President Obama proposed $1.5 billion for high-impact summer jobs and year-round employment for low-income youth ages 16-24 in the American Jobs Act as part of the Pathways Back to Work fund. When Congress failed to act, the federal government and private sector came together in January to commit to creating nearly 180,000 employment opportunities for low-income youth in the summer of 2012, with a goal of reaching 250,000 opportunities by the start of summer. Since the announcement of the initiative in January, nearly 100 more private sector partners nationwide have answered the President’s challenge to provide young people with summer jobs, mentorships, internships and other opportunities to build skills.
The Summer Jobs+ Bank is a single-stop resource for young job seekers to go online and search for jobs and other employment opportunities in their communities. In addition to the search tool, the Administration challenged the developer community to build apps that connect even more young people to job opportunities in their area. Learn more about the innovative apps that were created here, and encourage young people in your community to visit the Summer Jobs+ Bank here.
For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/summerjobs.
Paul Monteiro is an Associate Director in the Office of Public Engagement.