At least one in six youth ages 16-24 — or more than 6.7 million young people — are unemployed and not in school. In December 2010, President Obama called upon 25 leaders, including Goodwill Industries International President and CEO Jim Gibbons, from the private, nonprofit and government sectors to address key community challenges and create opportunities for these youth and help them find paths to training, support and jobs.
The group, known as the White House Council for Community Solutions, presented its final report (PDF) and recommendations (PDF) on June 4, highlighting how communities can join together to connect young people to critical education and employment programs.
“It is critical that we approach our young people from a positive place and with a belief in the energy they can provide now and in the future. Connecting them with training and employment today can immediately change the trajectory of their lives,” Gibbons emphasized in a recent Serve.gov blog post.
Four youth who benefited from Goodwill programs traveled to Washington, DC, for the June 4 event and shared stories about how they empowered themselves to overcome their life challenges and get on the path to job success with Goodwill’s support. Click on the linked youth’s names to hear them tell their first-person stories.
- Will Place (Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers)
- Chris Parker (Goodwill Industries Serving Eastern Nebraska and Southwest Iowa)
- Lawrence Stephens (Goodwill of Central Virginia)
- Joanna McVicker (Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley)
Goodwill® believes that the solutions to our most difficult national challenges live in our communities. To create opportunities for young people, we don’t need to look any further than our neighbors.
“We believe opportunity youth have energy and aspirations, and they recognize their responsibility to develop solutions with local leaders that improve their lives, benefit their communities, and help youth nationwide,” Gibbons stressed.
Find out more about how Goodwill supports youth in achieving their education and employment dreams.