1 in 4.
It is estimated that the number of U.S. young people ages 16-24 who are disconnected from school or work will reach 1 in 4 – over 9 million – as a result of the pandemic. Referred to as opportunity youth, these young people are critical to building a sustainably diverse workforce and strengthening communities through equitable opportunity. They are also a valuable source of the diverse talent, experience, and skills that companies seek.
The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, having achieved its original goal, has been relaunched as The Hire Opportunity Coalition.
The Hire Opportunity Coalition builds the capacity of partner companies to hire, retain and professionally develop opportunity youth. Through rich partnerships with its member companies, national network partners and local demonstration cities alike, HOC seeks to elevate the importance of opportunity youth employment as an essential lever to a more prosperous, inclusive and equitable workforce. The HOC provides a comprehensive solution for supporting opportunity youth hiring through:
A national platform for publicly elevating the OY hiring issue in conjunction with engaged brands
Curated best practices for hiring and retaining disconnected youth and a central repository of supporting data and resources
A peer network of like-minded companies with a common goal, commitment, and voice
Evidence-based assessment of corporate capacity to hire and retain OY, and tolls for increasing that capacity over time
Data tracking to capture actual results, measure impact, and share outcomes
Direct connections to opportunity youth via non-profit partnerships, hiring events and mentorship programs
Companies are being called upon to lead the effort toward more inclusive economic opportunity. Business leaders can initiate change, but the pipeline to an equitable future for all must start with our YOUTH. While progress has been made in the non-profit realm to prepare the way for OY, the greatest gap in the continued advancement of opportunity youth is the focused support of employers.