NEW YORK, June 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the number of unemployed youth nearly double the national unemployment rate, Opportunity Nation, in partnership with the global retailer Gap Inc., today launched the Connecting Youth & Business microsite, an interactive online toolkit that demonstrates the value today's opportunity youth brings to the workforce and shows businesses how to create new employment and learning opportunities for youth. The tool was unveiled as part of today's White House Summit on Community Solutions for Disconnected Youth.
Businesses can use the online tool to identify one of three ways to create opportunities for young people: (1) helping youth develop professional workplace skills and behaviors through mentoring; (2) helping youth develop skills to respond to workplace situations through career days and job-shadowing; and (3) helping youth put these skills to use in an actual work environment through internships, experiential learning, and apprenticeships.
"Our Opportunity Index revealed that one of the most dominant factors in determining an area's overall opportunity score was the engagement of the youth living in those areas," said Mark Edwards, executive director of Opportunity Nation. "This online toolkit takes aim at rebuilding this early and pivotal rung on the ladder of opportunity by providing a roadmap for businesses to follow to re-engage today's disconnected youth."
"Businesses can play a critical role in helping young people develop skills to boost their future job competitiveness, a sense of accountability, and a vision for their future," said Bobbi Silten, senior vice president, global responsibility at Gap Inc. and president, Gap Foundation. "All of us benefited in some way from that first job or internship. This web tool outlines the many ways businesses can make that same kind of impact for a young person seeking to enter the workforce."
According to a report published by Columbia University and Queen's College CUNY, the cost per year of youth disconnected from school and work translates into more than $93 billion in lost taxes and direct costs to support these young people.
The website is based on A Toolkit for Employers: Connecting Youth and Business, created by Gap Inc. with the support of McKinsey & Company, Corporate Voices for Working Families, and the Taproot Foundation. It supports the work of the White House Council for Community Solutions, established in 2010 to identify, encourage growth, and maximize the impact of cross-sector community initiatives.
Christopher Cashman, 212-804-6370
SOURCE Opportunity Nation