White House Council for Community Solutions Launches Initiative to Train, Support Disconnected Youth

The White House Council for Community Solutions and a coalition of nonprofit and private-sector partners that includes the Bridgespan Group, FSG, Gap Inc., McKinsey & Company, Corporate Voices for Working Families, and the Taproot Foundation have announced the launch of a hundred-day initiative to encourage Americans to go "All In" for disconnected youth.

According to The Economic Value of Opportunity Youth (49 pages, PDF), a W.K. Kellogg Foundation-sponsored report released by the council in partnership with Civic Enterprises, at least one in six young adults is out of school and unemployed.

To encourage communities, businesses, nonprofits, and local governments to provide these "Opportunity Youth" with critically needed mentoring and support, the coalition has created a number of toolkits, including the Community Collaboratives Toolbox (90 pages, PDF), which highlights efforts to tackle issues such as violence and low graduation rates; and the Connecting Youth & Business Toolkit (108 pages, PDF), which offers employers guidance on engaging youth through mentoring, job-shadowing, and internships and permanent positions.

In addition, United Way Worldwide will host a series of "Community Conversations" with local United Ways in thirty cities and regions to foster collaboration between local organizations and businesses interested in providing the education, training, and social supports young adults need for long-term employment success.

"If we don't act, the 6.7 million young adults who are out of school and work are set up to fail. Without an opportunity to learn critical skills and earn an income, these youth are less likely to become the kind of healthy, productive citizens that are crucial to the long-term strength and competiveness of our nation," said Patty Stonesifer, chair of the White House Council of Community Solutions. "From family to government — we all have a role to play to help disconnected youth. By shining a spotlight on this important issue, the council and its partners hope to spur thoughtful community discussions and a national dialogue that leads to reconnecting these young people with the supports they need to move forward."