81st Annual Meeting: June 21-24, 2013 in Las Vegas

INVESTING IN AMERICAíS OPPORTUNITY YOUTH

WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors is committed to developing our nationís future workforce to insure the talent is available to allow employers to grow and remain competitive and stimulate the creation of new businesses and jobs; and

WHEREAS, mayors are particularly interested in addressing both the challenges and opportunities for the over 6.5 million Opportunity Youth across the nation, defined as being 16- to 24-years old, out of school and not employed; and

WHEREAS,  the latest 2013 data indicates that only about half of the nationís 16 to 24-year old youth held jobs and shows no positive or significant trend changes related to high youth unemployment; and

WHEREAS, this high level of youth unemployment is creating a generation without the proper work experience to be successful in higher education and training programs, and to be properly prepared for future  job opportunities as they enter adulthood; and

WHEREAS, The United States continues to see increasing negative global competiveness trends related to the number of available and properly educated and trained young adults necessary to meet the future occupational needs of employers; especially for new technical middle skills jobs and for those that will be createdthroughattrition by thoseaging out of existing jobs; and

WHEREAS, the current fragmented secondary and higher education and workforce development systems are not properly designed, aligned and/or resourced to produce sufficient numbers and levels of talent necessary to meet the needs of employers; and

WHEREAS, mayors recognize that improving opportunities for Opportunity Youth through a comprehensive, strategic and sustainable approach will result in increased employment, decreasedcrime and safer neighborhoods, reduced poverty and improved family stability, increased tax revenue generation, positive stimulation of local businesses through increased purchase of goods and services, a reduction of publicly funded safety net programs, and the creation of a workforce to meet the current and future needs of employers; and

WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors applauds the efforts of other organizations such as: the White House Council on Community Solutions, Opportunities Nation, Communities Collaborating to Reconnect Youth, Federal Interagency Workgroup, Coalition of Human Needs, the Campaign for Youth, the Aspen Institute on Community Solutions and others, to raise awareness and bring forth policy recommendations to more comprehensively address the needs of Opportunity Youth; and

WHEREAS, mayors recognize the critical role businesses must play in contributing to making the policy, system and program design changes necessary to insure the workforce talent being produced meets their future needs,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayor calls on Congress to create an overarching Opportunity Youth policy and comprehensive, targeted and sustained investment to build community capacity; recover and re-engage youth who have disconnected; create new multiple and relevant pathways and better access to higher education and training; and make the necessary alignment and integration changes that better align education and training systems to create more meaningful outcomes and impacts, with strong accountability for measurable results; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on Congress and the Administration to make investments that will create summer and year-round opportunities for work experience, internships, transitional jobs, work-study, and related activities that will provide low-income and Opportunity Youth early exposure to the workplace and career opportunities.


RESOLUTION ADOPTED JUNE 2013