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Access To Opportunity Starts Early And Continues Into High School And Adulthood.

Experts state that there is a 6,000-hour learning gap between high-income and low-income students by the time they reach sixth grade. Lack of tuition-free professional training and development at early ages results often in different educational outcomes and unequal career opportunities.

For people people of color, women, and young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 without advanced degrees, employment options are often limited to manual and unskilled labor jobs paying less than a living wage. Tuition-free professional training and development is a great solution to overcome such barriers. The alumni of such programs increase their average earnings significantly, and are 50 percent less likely to rely on public assistance.

​Beyond the technology sector, other industries also need to create targeted job training programs as part of in-house recruitment or through partnerships with local government.

​Low-income and under-educated populations aren’t the only under-served and overlooked pools of potential employees. People with disabilities, military veterans, the homeless, and the formerly incarcerated are also among the populations recruiters are missing.

​Any training program that provides a workforce without a place for the workforce to land fails in supporting industry. At the same time, companies without access to a trained workforce for entry-level jobs in disciplines ranging from ...

  • accounting,

  • automotive technology,

  • banking and finance,

  • business administration,

  • culinary arts,

  • energy,

  • environmental services,

  • fashion,

  • healthcare,

  • IT support to cyber security,

  • manufacturing,

  • media,

  • medical services,

  • sound engineering,

  • trade,

  • transportation,

  • warehousing, and more,

are forced to relocate to places that have talent.

Our Thoughts On How To Improve Youth Employment

Programs that train students on real work and help them gain employment by giving them the skills and connections they need to enter into industry, are critical. Companies that are committed to hiring local talent and the city that supports the launch and growth of startups are key.

​Both federal and local governments have an important role to play in creating real work training programs that lead to entry into industry. The city leaderships and our business communities have to do their part also. Policymakers need to work with employer networks to create real work opportunities through financial support of workforce training programs and organizations.

​Our educators from the unified school districts and the community colleges have to be also an integral part of the solution. Under-served communities need to transform their education system to make it more responsive to the hiring needs of the local workforce. This needs to be done by supporting new partnerships and pathways between workforce practitioners, high schools, and community colleges, as well as building bridge programs that support individuals to reach the reading and math levels that are necessary to excel in tech-skills training.

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