U. S. Secretary of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis joined Mayor Michael Nutter at Philadelphia's City Hall on Wednesday to announce that the Obama Administration has secured additional commitments from 95 companies and non-profits, three cities, two federal agencies and the White House to provide 110,000 new summer jobs and other employment opportunities for low-income and disconnected youth as part of the Summer Jobs + Initiative. The initiative is part of the president's "We Can't Wait" campaign, and among the nearly 300,000 opportunities that will exist, are paid positions, mentorships, internships and training programs.
The Administration will also launch the Summer Jobs+ Bank, a new online search tool to help connect young people to jobs, internships and other employment opportunities this summer and year-round.
"In January, we called on the private and public sectors to help us address record unemployment among America's youth," said PresidentBarack Obama. "We are proud to announce that cities, federal agencies, non-profits, and companies from across the country have come together to provide hundreds of thousands of summer jobs and employment opportunities for our young people."
Solis said the Summer Jobs+ Bank and the growing list of organizations stepping up to answer Obama's challenge are important to maintaining the administration's commitment to the next generation of the American workforce.
"There's no replacement for the dignity that comes with earning your first paycheck, and whether young people are looking for a job at the retail store around the corner or at a national park states away, they now have one place to start their search," Solis said.
As part of the Pathways Back to Work fund, $1.5 billion has been proposed for high-impact summer jobs and year-round employment for low-income youth ages 16-24 in the American Jobs Act. When Congress failed to act, the federal government and private sector came together in January to commit to creating nearly 180,000 employment opportunities for low-income youth in the summer of 2012, with a goal of reaching 250,000 employment opportunities by the start of summer.
Commitments announced since January include: Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association; Boys & Girls Clubs of America; Bread for the World; Bright Horizons; Cambia Health Solutions; Capital Workforce Partners; Coppin State University; and the U.S. Small Business Administration.