SBA & Small Business Majority Address Nation's Youth Unemployment

SBA & Small Business Majority have partnered together to help encourage small business owners address the growing problem of youth unemployment by creating professional opportunities for out of school and out of work youth

Aug 31, 2015, 16:20 ET from U.S. Small Business Administration

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Small Business Majority announced their joint commitment to encourage small employers to create job opportunities for young people as part of a national sign-on campaign. The campaign aims to help bridge the gap between youth who are out of school and out of work, and small businesses needing to fill key entry-level positions.

"Unemployment remains stubbornly high for young Americans, with one in four Millennials currently out of work," said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. "Youth unemployment impedes the growth of local economies, with a disproportionate negative impact on underserved communities. Together with Small Business Majority, SBA is working to ensure that today's youth have the career options they need to thrive and succeed and that small businesses—the engine of our economy—have a strong, dedicated workforce.  Connecting youth and small business owners will not only help address unemployment, but it could spark the next generation of entrepreneurs."

Over the next year, the SBA and Small Business Majority will strive to help today's youth get back to work by having small businesses pledge to one or more actions outlined in the campaign. Pledge companies will commit to increasing the number of youth hires within their company, expanding full or part-time internships, or providing mentorship opportunities.

This campaign builds on existing efforts by the SBA and Small Business Majority to create more opportunities for youth and Millennials across the country, including youth of color. Last year, President Obama launched the "My Brother's Keeper Initiative" to ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. The SBA's commitment to this initiative aims to help create pipelines for all young people, including young people of color, to enter the workforce, and, perhaps, one day own their own business.

"Last year, we pledged to find 100 small employers who were committed to providing opportunities for young Americans and are proud to say we far exceeded our goal. With our partners at the SBA, we're excited to build upon this work to create professional opportunities for our nation's youth while providing small businesses with qualified workers," said John Arensmeyer, CEO of Small Business Majority. "Far too many young Americans are struggling to find jobs after they leave school, which negatively affects economic demand. By solving this problem, we will foster better workforces, which will bolster small employers and our economy as a whole."

To view or sign the pledge, please visit www.smallbiz4youth.com. We encourage businesses of all sizes to join us in providing access to potentially life changing opportunities for our youth.

To schedule an interview with a small business owner who signed the pledge or a representative from Small Business Majority, contact Kelsey Bye at kbye@smallbusinessmajority.org or (202) 289-0957.

About the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. We recognize that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America's future, and to helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace. Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam. www.sba.gov

About Small Business Majority 
Small Business Majority is a national small business advocacy organization, founded and run by small business owners to focus on solving the biggest problems facing America's 28 million small businesses today. We actively engage small business owners to drive smart public policy and get entrepreneurs the resources they need to thrive. We conduct extensive opinion and economic research and work with our rapidly growing network of 40,000 small business owners across the country to ensure their voices are an integral part of the public policy debate. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Cosponsorship Authorization 15-6010-157. SBA's participation in this cosponsored activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.

Release Number: 15-69

CONTACTS:
Kelsey Bye | (202) 289-0957 | kbye@smallbusinessmajority.org
Cecelia Taylor | (202) 401-3059 | cecelia.taylor@sba.gov

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SOURCE U.S. Small Business Administration



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