Obama Asks Employers to Help Solve $1.6 Trillion Problem

“We need to do everything we can to make sure America’s young people get the opportunity to earn the skills and a work ethic that come with a job. It’s important for their future, and for America’s.” ~ President Barack Obama

Yesterday, President Barack Obama announced that the White House and the U.S. Department of Labor and Department of Education are nearly doubling last year’s budget request to support young Americans who are out of school and out of work. The President’s proposal seeks to ensure that these young adults are not being left behind as the United States continues the longest streak of private-sector job growth in our history.

It all boils down to that first job.

Despite the 14 million new jobs created over the past 70 months, young adults with limited or no work experience are still struggling to land their #FirstJob. In addition to this being a costly missed opportunity for the economy, when a young adult struggles to get their first job, it can have a lasting negative impact on their lifetime income, personal motivation, pride, and self-esteem. Here are the numbers:
  1. Approximately 6 million young adults are currently out of school and work
  2. The lifetime cost to taxpayers for these 6 million young adults is estimated at $1.6 trillion
  3. Young adults, ages of 16-24, who experience a spell of unemployment earn $400,000 less over their careers than those who don’t
A first job is a stepping stone to the start of a career. But in an economy where employers look for work experience on a resume, young adults who are new to the job market are being screened out. Again and again and again. As a result, they are missing out on the opportunity to get the on-the-job training they need to launch their careers.

That’s where the President’s proposal comes in. The goal: connect young adults to organizations and employers investing in their futures. Here are the plan details:
  1. $5.5 billion to connect more than 1 million young adults over the summer to their first job
  2. $3 billion to expand talent pipelines in over 50 regions to fill open jobs and attract new jobs
  3. $2 billon to double the number of U.S. apprenticeships
Employers are at the center of this proposal.

The President is calling on businesses to take action to give our 6 million young Americans who have limited resources a better shot in life. His plan seeks to incentivize the creation of employment opportunities such as internships, training, mentoring, and hiring initiatives.

With 5 million jobs open today, developing our future workforce is critical to our economy’s prosperity, the growth of our businesses, and our ability to compete for new markets. This plan seeks to ensure that our education and training systems are committed to recruiting and training the talent that our evolving labor market so desperately needs.

The GradsofLifeVoice Forbes team provides thought leadership, research and expert commentary on innovative talent pipelines and related issues such as the skills gap, income inequality, workforce diversity, and the business case for employment pathways. We seek to change employers’ perceptions of young adults with atypical resumes from social liabilities to economic assets. This post was originally featured here.

Government/Policy, Workforce Development,
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