Earlier this year, I asked industry experts to share their CSR predictions for 2019. Aron Cramer, President and CEO of BSR, said: “2019 will (again) be a year when business will be well advised to assume leadership in creating and advocating for an economy that works for all.”
Unemployment rates today are at record lows, and companies are actively looking to fill entry-level positions. And yet, there’s a disconnect: more than 4.5 million young people in America between the ages of 16 to 24 are out of school and unemployed. Sheri Schultz, President of the Schultz Family Foundation, calls these young people “opportunity youth.” After decades of supporting young people through the foundation and volunteer work, Schultz had an a-ha moment: “One of the greatest needs for improving outcomes for this population was related to employment. Young people needed skills, supports and a clear pathway to a job and employers needed young talent.”
With this in mind, Schultz founded the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative to connect hundreds of thousands of young people directly to employers, focusing on support, training and ultimately meaningful employment. More than 50 companies are part of this coalition, including Starbucks, Hyatt, FedEx, Target and T-Mobile.
Today, the coalition is hosting National Youth #HiringDay, a digital job fair that connects thousands of young people to job opportunities. “Young people can connect with companies through a common application and receive support throughout the application and interviewing process, including 1:1 coaching through the JobLaunch text line. The goal is to help as many young people as possible gain meaningful employment,” said Schultz. In addition to the digital job fair at HiringDay.org, on-the-ground training and hiring events will take place in Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Chicago, and at over 45 high schools in 16 states across the country.