Press Release: National Youth Hiring Day 2021


Media Contact
Adrianne Wright


National Youth Hiring Day To Connect Overlooked Youth With More Than 135,000 Open, Entry-Level Jobs

Fourth-annual hiring fair helps high-profile companies bridge the employment gap exacerbated by the pandemic, with a focus on youth most in need

Participating exhibitors include Amazon, City Year, CVS Health, FedEx Ground, Five Guys, Hilton, Hyatt, Jason’s Deli, Nordstrom, Rue21, Staples, Starbucks, T-Mobile, Verizon, Victra, Walgreens and Wayfair

WASHINGTON, DC (June 16, 2021) — A coalition — including 16 industry-leading employers and one non-profit, led by The Hire Opportunity Coalition and Get Schooled, will host National Youth Hiring Day: 2021 on June 16 to connect young people with more than 135,000 open entry-level job openings. The goal is twofold: help America’s youth access meaningful employment opportunities and help leading employers hire the young talent that will continue to fuel America’s economic recovery.

As inoculation rates rise and the economy begins to recover, research on youth unemployment since the COVID-19 outbreak shows that historically inequitable hiring trends are starting to repeat themselves. According to a recent report commissioned by the Schultz Family Foundation, a longtime supporter of National Youth Hiring Day, there were over 4.7 million unemployed youth immediately after the outbreak of the pandemic – a three-fold increase over pre-pandemic levels. In addition, Measure of America estimates that the number of those 16-24 year-olds that were both out of work and out of school, or “Opportunity Youth,” after the pandemic more than doubled from 4.1 million in February of 2020 to as many as 9 million in May of that same year. While numbers have started to improve over the last few months based on the growing recovery of the economy, these numbers remain higher than they were prior to the outbreak with between five and six million still both not working and out of school.

The urgency here is significant: young people who are unable to access consistent work before age 25 will earn 44 percent less over the course of their lives, further contributing to long-standing cycles of intergenerational poverty while tearing at our social safety nets.

“It is encouraging as we watch our country emerge from the greatest public health challenge in modern history that we literally have a chance to rebuild our workforce with the hindsight and important lessons from our past,” said Charles Hiteshew, Executive Director of The Hire Opportunity. “What is called for and what Hire Opportunity Coalition stands for is corporations that recognize not only the moral imperative, but the business case for hiring these young people. For if effectively retained, trained, and advanced, these youth will soon inform their corporations’ strategies to meet an ever-diversifying marketplace in the future. If not, we miss the opportunity to glean from their experience, their insight, their sensibilities and indeed, their solutions. Market share will go to those companies that best figure out how to hire, retain and advance these young people into decision-making managers.”

Unlike a traditional job fair, National Youth Hiring Day was launched with a mission to meet youth in need where they are, allowing access from any connected device and offering robust 1:1 coaching support in the lead-up to the event. Participants can take advantage of coaching through multiple digital platforms, including GetSchooled’s text line, to help them address areas of concern they may have such as creating a strong resume, what to wear to a virtual interview, and how to follow-up with prospective employers.

The event will take place on an immersive, interactive platform designed for 1:1 experiences, to emulate the best features of an in-person job fair and enable youth to learn more about the benefits and openings of each participating employer. Participants can engage with recruiters and youth service providers directly in real time — via chat, audio, and video — and apply for openings near them.

Introduced in 2018, National Youth Hiring Day was the first national, virtual job fair for young people. Last May, the third annual event featured nine leading national employers, reaching more than 12 million young job seekers, and connecting directly with nearly 50,000. This year, 16 industry-leading companies are participating, more than any previous event. Every applicant who logs on is guaranteed an opportunity to engage with participating companies, learn more about available entry-level positions, and potentially get hired on the spot.

“We must resist a return to ‘business as usual’ when it comes to hiring,” says John Branam, Executive Director of GetSchooled. “If we want an economic recovery that’s genuinely equitable, we need to actually support young talent in becoming the next generation of leaders, and this means being intentional about their recruitment, retention and professional development.”

“At Hyatt, our purpose to care for people so they can be their best guides how we engage with our communities and we have a longstanding commitment to creating employment opportunities in areas where we operate,” said Malaika Myers, Chief Human Resources Officer at Hyatt and member of The Hire Opportunity Youth Coalition Steering Committee. “As we emerge from the pandemic, we are focused on building back our workforce to become a stronger Hyatt family, with diversity, equity and inclusion as top priorities for hiring. We are thrilled to once again participate in National Youth Hiring Day to introduce young people to the career possibilities in hospitality as travel significantly picks up.”

“Young job-seekers excite us! Always willing to share their voice, our youthful talent base helps build the rich tapestry of rue21, weaving their individual stories into our brand’s diverse identity,” said Anne Popiel, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition for rue21. “Today’s youth take us closer and closer to building an ever-lasting connection and developing a safe space where associates and customers can feel at home.”

“Our company’s mission is connecting technology to life and bringing our communities together, especially those in need of a leg up,” said Julie Skiba, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Victra. That’s why we are excited to join the National Youth Hiring Day event to provide meaningful hiring opportunities for this demographic. As our business continues to grow, we are looking to add top talent to our organization from our corporate offices, to our tele-sales center as well as positions within our field teams, which all offer a diversified career experience.”

“A foundational belief we hold at City Year is the belief in the power of young people—they are a key force for positive change in the world today,” said Todd Marsh, Senior Recruitment Advancement Director, City Year Cleveland ‘11. “We strive to help nurture this generation of empowered, experienced, and effective leaders through our mission of helping students and schools thrive. We are eager to connect with young people seeking an opportunity to spark their development through the experience of our program.”

Research from the report found that three out of four unemployed respondents said COVID-19 made their job search more difficult and nearly one in three reported having stopped their job search altogether due to COVID-19. Nearly two-thirds of young people indicated a general belief that existing barriers, such as discrimination, lack of money, lack of education and skills, and immigration status, will make it difficult to achieve their career goals.

For more information or to access the event, please visit