Youth Job Training and Education

  • Seeing hope for flagging economy, West Virginia revamps vocational track, By Dana Goldstein, August 10, 2017, New York Times: “In a sleek laboratory at Marshall University last month, four high school teachers hunched over a miniature steam-electric boiler, a tabletop replica of the gigantic machinery found in power plants. They hooked the boiler to a small, whirring generator and tinkered with valves and knobs, looking for the most efficient way to turn coal, natural gas, nuclear or solar energy into electricity. The teachers, who were attending a summer training program, are helping West Virginia in another kind of transformation. Long one of the poorest states, it is now leading the way in turning vocational education from a Plan B for underachieving students into what policy makers hope will be a fuel source for the state’s economic revival…”
  • ‘Millennial Bill’ could help at-risk youth secure jobs, By Donna Owens, July 29, 2017, NBC News: “Taj Jackson dreamed of college after graduating from a Maryland high school in 2014, but didn’t think his family—headed by a single mother who worked multiple jobs—could afford it. Then they both learned about a national nonprofit called `Year Up.’ It provides young adults in urban communities with skills training, work experience, educational opportunities and mentoring, aimed at helping them achieve professional careers within a year…”

Youth Unemployment – Chicago, IL

Chicago tackles youth unemployment as it wrestles with its consequences, By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, September 1, 2016, Chicago Tribune: “Margo Strotter, who runs a busy sandwich shop in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, makes it a point to hire people with ‘blemishes.’  But young people? She sighs and shakes her head.  They often lack ‘the fundamental stuff’ — arriving on time, ironing their shirts, communicating well, taking direction — she said. She doesn’t have time to train workers in the basics, and worries she’s not alone.  ‘We are going to wind up with a whole group of people in their 40s and 50s who can’t function,’ said Strotter, owner of Ain’t She Sweet Cafe.  As Chicago tackles what some have termed a crisis of youth joblessness, it must reckon with the consequences of a failure to invest in its low-income neighborhoods and the people who live there. There aren’t enough jobs, and the young people vying for them are frequently woefully unprepared because of gaps in their schooling and upbringing. The system has pushed them to the back of the hiring line…”

Disconnected Youth

The young and the disconnected: America’s youth unemployment problem, By Robert Samuels, October 27, 2014, Washington Post: “The mentor and mentee sat in a room in the Latin American Youth Center, dreaming of a future neither knew how to fully attain. ‘How many jobs do you think you’ve applied for?’ Jaime Roberts asked her mentee. Manuel Hernandez laughed nervously. The question seemed so important, but the goal seemed so futile. ‘I stopped counting,’ Hernandez said. ‘Maybe 12? Maybe more?’ Hernandez is 24. He has never held a steady job, never went college and has a felony conviction. But he also has a budding artist as a son, who keeps asking for an art set that Dad can’t afford to buy. The mistakes in his past have resulted in him being stuck in a national economic conundrum: how to help young people, between 16 and 24, who are neither enrolled in school nor employed. Policymakers call them ‘disconnected youth.’ Hernandez calls them ‘friends…'”

Youth Unemployment

The youth unemployment crisis hits African-Americans hardest, By NPR Staff, July 21, 2014, NPR:  “Young people are being chased out of the labor market. Though the national unemployment rate has fallen steadily in recent months, youth unemployment remains stubbornly high, and the jobless rate is even higher among young minorities. For young people between the ages of 16 and 24, unemployment is more than twice the national rate, at 14.2 percent. For African-Americans, that rate jumps to 21.4 percent. . .”

Disconnected Youth

Youth are worse off now than in 1990, By Allie Bidwell, June 30, 2014, US News and World Report: “By several measures, America is becoming more educated, but young people may have less opportunity now than in 1990. The national high school graduation rate is the highest it’s been in decades, and the percentage of adults with some form of college degree has also been on the rise. Nationwide, about 26 percent of adults over 25 had at least an associate’s degree in 2010. But there’s been a growing trend of inequality among young adults, according to a historical report from Opportunity Nation, a national campaign focused on expanding economic mobility, and Measure for America, a project of the Social Science Research Council. Since 1990, the percentage of young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither working nor in school has increased by 5 percent, to a national average of 14.7 percent . . .”