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Obama Administration Makes Youth Employment a 2012 Goal

January 5, 2012 Culture, Front Page, Politics, Problems, Solutions, Vote No Comments

As the 2012 presidential election approaches, it is becoming painfully clear that the U.S. economy may be the topic helping voters decided which candidate to choose. Unemployment has remained relatively high across the nation, but some populations have been hit harder than others. The Obama administration has made progress in its attempts to stabilize unemployment, and job growth has been on a small but steady rise. But if stabilizing the economy is the greatest challenge for the 2012 election, then increased employment is the only solution.

While job growth has increased, the questions regarding who is gaining employment still remains. Today, the White House released a press release announcing the Summer Jobs Act to employ nearly 180,000 youth between the ages of 16-24 nationwide. The White House has been encouraging youth employment since 2009, and has worked with many private companies to ensure that young people received on-the-job training and paid internship positions. However, today they took an aggressive stance toward youth employment stating:

“America’s youth can’t wait for Congress to act.”

Obama is moving forward without Congress by proposing $1.5 billion to make sure that youth can be hired not only in the summer, but year-round.

This is an important step to ending high rates of unemployment not only for youth and disadvantaged communities, but also for the nation as a whole. With all of the political circus, we often forget that the high school and college students WILL  grow up to become the leaders of this nation. We must do everything possible to support their growth and development in every realm of society. The administration also points out that in 2011, taxpayers contributed more than $93 billion “in direct cost and lost tax revenue to support young adults disconnected from school and work.”

Many conservatives, such as Rick Santorum, repeatedly state that they want to discontinue social welfare programs, however, unemployed and uneducated youth will cost us far more in lost tax revenue than in entitlement programs alone. Translation: It will cost us far less, as a society, to educate and hire the multi-ethnic youth of America.

In the next 60 days, the administration will launch  Summer Jobs+ Bank, an online job search through its business, non-profit, and government partner organizations. They hope that these summer jobs will lead to a more informed workforce prepared for long-term employment in the private and public sector.

Check out the full press release here.

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