The Campaign for Youth recently updated its Our Youth, Our Economy, Our Future: A Road Map for Investing in the Nation's Talent, an investment strategy that offers a set of recommendations to help an estimated 6.7 million young people ages 16 to 24 who are unattached to school or work to return to education or engage in a career. Youth and young adults ages 16-24 face an unemployment rate more than twice the overall unemployment rate. Helping disconnected youth access postsecondary education and the workforce is a critical solution to the issues of persistent poverty and income inequality, and to meeting America’s workforce needs. The strategy offers the following seven overarching ways to bring these recommendations to reality:
- Make reconnecting youth a national priority.
- Invest in high-need communities.
- Involve young people in finding solutions for their own generation.
- Build capacity to utilize research-based practices and knowledge to expand high-quality programming.
- Create pathways to financial independence and social mobility.
- Develop work-based learning opportunities that are relevant to careers and have real world applications.
- Create a policy and research infrastructure to ensure program quality and accountability.
Established in 2002, the Campaign for Youth is made up of national youth-serving and policy organizations and is housed at the Center for Law and Social Policy. The Campaign for Youth seeks to build a united voice for disadvantaged youth. Its 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. IEL is a founding member of Campaign for Youth.