Summer Jobs+ program connects youth and employers

The Department of Labor announced a new program that enables businesses to provide youth with opportunities to gain employment and insight.

American youth and young adults who are disengaged from school and disconnected from the workforce directly impact our nation’s future prosperity. The U.S. Department of Labor currently estimates that there are approximately 6.7 million young people between the ages of 16-24 who are failing to build an economic foundation for adult independence.

The economic and social burden in terms of lost earnings, lower economic growth, lower tax revenues, increased crime and higher government spending needed to support these youth cannot be ignored. The costs to support these disenfranchised youth is estimated to be in the trillions of dollars over a lifetime.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced a new Summer Jobs + program that not only includes summer jobs, but also companies committed to providing youth opportunities to gain insights into the world of work through mentoring, job shadow days and workshops. Both employers and youth can connect now on the Department of Labor’s website where employers can post jobs and youth can find summer jobs.

Businesses, non-profits, government, community organizations and schools can help these youth and young adults play a much more productive role by providing and building pathways to employment. Pathways to employment can take many forms: employee mentors, employability workshops, company tours, job shadow days, internships, summer jobs and on-the-job training are just a few examples of how businesses, government and community organizations can help.

Additional career development and workforce preparation resources, workshops, and tools can also be found through participation in Michigan 4-H programming, where youth develop skills and an attitude that work together to ensure success as active adults in society. The Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Development Career website has more information on this type of programming.

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