The Mayor has joined with the Seattle-King County Workforce Development Council (WDC) to increase the percentage of private sector involvement in hiring youth interns over the summer through the Youth @ Work campaign. Both the City and the WDC have agreed to help employers facilitate the process of increasing the number of these opportunities.
WDC’s Youth @ Work Campaign seeks to:
- double the number of youth internships regionally;
- build a scalable talent pipeline of young city residents for local businesses;
- increase the amount of private sector support for youth internships; and
- bolster existing communication capacity to measure and track campaign outcomes.
How Can I Get My Business Involved in Youth at Work?
Youth at Work needs enhanced business interest and financial support for Summer Jobs 2013.
- Businesses can offer internship opportunities, job shadows, and worksite tours and overviews of jobs in their sector to youth.
- Businesses that can’t offer internships and other awareness opportunities for youth can directly donate financial contributions to support youth in the program.
- You can get involved through the Youth @ Work website or by contacting Peter Cavanaugh at the WDC directly at 206-448-0474, ext. 3026 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mayor’s Office posted on their blog about the Youth @ Work campaign:
A young person’s first job is an important step on their path to adulthood and independence. Unfortunately, many of today’s young people don’t have the same employment opportunities that previous generations did. Due to the Great Recession, drop in federal support for youth employment programs, and increasing competition for fewer spots, today’s youth unemployment rates are the highest since before World War II. Nationwide, youth unemployment is over 16%. In Washington State, unemployment is 17.3% for ages 20-24 and 34.1% for youth ages 16-19. At the same time, many local industries say their greatest hindrance to growth is lack of a skilled workforce.
This situation is unacceptable. In response, President Obama launched the Summer Jobs Plus program, to work with the private sector to step up and fill the youth employment gap. Locally, we are launching our own program, called Youth @ Work, partnering with the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County and the private sector. The goal is to increase the number of summer jobs, internships, and job shadow opportunities available for our young people.
My office participated in a conference call with President Obama, other mayors, and local government staff from around the country to discuss this situation and our response. President Obama rightly identified that early experiences shape the trajectory of a person’s life. They can give a sense of opportunity and possibility, and combat the corrosive effect that despair and lack of hope have on individuals and communities. In addition, work experiences help keep kids in school, teach them about the world of work, and help them make better decisions about the careers they want to have and the training they need to get there. Summer youth employment also give our region’s employers talent for the long term: today’s youth are our region’s future workforce.