2004 Adopted Resolutions
72nd Annual Meeting
Boston

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YOUTH EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING FUNDING

     WHEREAS, since 2000 there has been a steep decline in the employment rate of the nation’s teens, summer employment rates have been at historically low levels, with this past summer’s rate the lowest it has been since 1948 when the government starting collecting this data; and

     WHEREAS, 5.4 million of the 17 million American youth aged 16 to 24 are without a diploma or without a job; and

     WHEREAS, this excludes the 360,000 16 – 24 year olds in prison, 65 percent of whom do not have a high school diploma; and

     WHEREAS, 2.4 million of these youth are poor and are disproportionately Latino and African American and their numbers are steadily increasing; and

     WHEREAS, more than 500,000 youth per year drop out of high school and hundreds of thousands of other struggling students may be on the verge of leaving school or being pushed out, and jobs are scarce; and

     WHEREAS, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) youth formula and Youth Opportunity Grant program have successfully met the needs of a small portion of these at-risk youth - 82,000 youth received training, education or work experience in Program Year (PY) 2003, the most recent year for which data is available; and

     WHEREAS, youth formula funding has been consistently cut since Fiscal Year (FY) 1995, from a FY 1994 youth formula funding level of $1.547 billion to the FY 04 level of $1 billion; and

     WHEREAS, under the current WIA reauthorization process, there are proposals to change the youth allocation formula and proposals to change the percentages of allocation between the states and local areas; and

     WHEREAS, in the President’s Fiscal Year 2005 Budget proposal there is a 25 percent cut to WIA youth formula dollars, in order to fund a new, untested youth initiative, and further, there is a proposal by the President in his “Better Training For Better Jobs” initiative that would combine the WIA youth formula program into a single block grant with the Adult formula program, the Dislocated Worker formula program and the Wagner Peyser Employment Service which would allow Governors to eliminate services for youth,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that in the FY 2005 Budget process and WIA reauthorization, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on Congress and the Administration to protect and increase the $1 billion currently provided for Youth formula funding; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that any change in the youth formula allocation be substantially weighted to reflect the population to which the funds are targeted, such as high school drop outs, youth in the juvenile justice system, and youth aging out of foster care; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that for any state youth formula discretionary allocation, that the Governor is required to allocate to local areas in accordance with a formula developed with the input of chief elected officials and local board that takes into account the factors relating to the high poverty and at-risk youth population; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on Congress and the Administration to ensure and enforce that the state’s use of the state’s percentage of WIA youth formula funds be used toward required statewide youth activities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in order to assure the development of future workers, the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on Congress and the Administration to provide $1 billion in funding for a youth employment and internship training program for the nation’s young people.