Boys & Girls Clubs of America Publishes White Paper Following Workforce Readiness Symposium
Boys & Girls Clubs of America published today new insights on workforce readiness for kids and teens around the country. Following a symposium in April of leading experts in youth development and career readiness, Building Economic Opportunity: Youth Workforce Readiness summarizes key learnings, expert advice and action steps to ensure young people are well-prepared for work and life. The white paper was made possible through influential partners participating in the symposium including Google, Charles Schwab, Comcast, The Hartford, Fluor, Microsoft, Toyota and Associated Builders & Contractors Trade Association.
"We know that it will take collaboration between communities and the public and private partnerships to bridge the workforce skills gap nationwide and ensure great futures for our youth," said Jim Clark, president and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "If young people have access to opportunities and career paths they might not normally have, we can ignite passions in them that can change the trajectory of their lives. It's essential that we constantly look to develop new training programs and provide support systems that prepare youth for successful careers."
Communities across America face challenges preparing youth for college and careers while employers struggle to find qualified employees. More than half of U.S. employers report their biggest obstacle to growth is finding qualified, skilled workers. For the first time in our nation's history, young people are not assured that they will have a better life than their parents. Data shows that more than 7 million jobs are going unfilled, and by 2020, over 60 percent of all jobs will require post-secondary education or training.
"Boys & Girls Clubs offer transformative opportunities around life and career readiness to more than 4.7 million youth nationwide, and our research shows what we offer is working," said Terri Fishback, senior director and youth development strategist, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "Ninety-seven percent of Club teens expect to graduate from high school, while 86 percent expect to attend college. Imagine if all of America's youth had this same foundation. Their potential for success would be unlimited."
These essential skills, like communication, critical thinking, and collaboration, help young people be set up for a great future and when fostered early can last a lifetime. Boys & Girls Clubs new white paper outlines current issues concerning today's youth, and pathways to giving them tools and resources they need to achieve their academic and career goals.
"There is not enough awareness of the role financial illiteracy plays in preventing people from getting and keeping a job. This new research helps shed a light on a challenge that affects not just teens and young adults, but also employers," said Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, senior vice president of Charles Schwab & Co. and president of Charles Schwab Foundation. "As chair elect and longtime partner of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, I am committed to advocating for greater financial education programs that help our youth make smart financial decisions and achieve long-term financial security."
As one of the nation's leading youth-serving organizations, Boys & Girls Clubs of America provides opportunities for young people to explore careers, develop skills and gather essential knowledge. However, Boys & Girls Clubs rely on meaningful public-private partnerships to identify an action plan resulting in positive results that assist youth in preparing for a career.
Building Economic Opportunity: Youth Workforce Readiness includes research and key learnings about America's growing workforce crisis and offers actionable steps for how businesses and employers, communities and policymakers can help provide youth with the support they need to be successful in life and work.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 150 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,600 Clubs serve 4.7 million youth annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 54 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://www.bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.