Our Youth, Our Economy, Our Future: A Road Map for Investing in the Nation’s Talent Pipeline
An estimated 5.25 million young people ages 16-24 are unattached to school and work. That is simply unacceptable. As America’s future workforce, the outcomes of these young people are inextricably attached to America’s future economic vitality. During this season of uncertain political change, it is critical that the needs, experiences and voices of America’s young people–especially those who encounter significant barriers to opportunity–play a prominent role in shaping our nation's broader economic agenda.
Over the past eight years, significant strides have been made in supporting the needs of our nation’s young people. An opportunity youth movement has emerged, bringing together leaders from across sectors to promote solutions that re-attach young people to work and school. Together we have accomplished many things, including successfully advocating for the reauthorization of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Nonetheless, the scale of youth disconnection in this country is a challenge to every policymaker, advocate, program provider and youth leader to recommit themselves to broad, innovative and ambitious goals to support the economic and educational aspirations of all young people in this country.
To that end, the Campaign for Youth recently updated Our Youth, Our Economy, Our Future: A Road Map for Investing in the Nation’s Talent Pipeline, an investment strategy that offers a set of recommendations to help national, state, and local public and private stakeholders identify and invest in solutions–and leverage current philanthropic and federal resources. Building upon our 2008 recommendations which received the support of over 250 organizations, our 2016 strategy offers six overarching ways to bring these recommendations to reality:
- Make reconnecting our youth a national priority.
- Build on the strengths of young people and involve them in finding solutions for their generation.
- Invest in high-need communities.
- Create opportunities for work experiences that are relevant to careers and have real world application.
- Create pathways to financial independence and social mobility.
- Build state and local capacity to expand effective high-quality, evidence-based programming.
Solutions are within reach but require strong public support, public and private investment, an active nonprofit sector, enabling government policies, and the collective knowledge of the youth development field.
About the Campaign for Youth: In 2002, the leadershipof national youth-serving and policy organizations established the Campaign for Youth to build a united voice for disadvantaged youth. Our mission is to lift up strategies that help young people who are out of work, out of school, and out of the mainstream reconnect and succeed. For information about Campaign for Youth, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steering Committee American Youth Policy Forum, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Forum for Youth Investment, First Focus, Gateway to College National Network, Institute for Educational Leadership, Jobs for the Future, National Council of La Raza, National Youth Employment Coalition, The Corps Network, The Susquehanna Group, Young Invincibles and YouthBuild USA