Economic Mobility

Opportunity Youth Roadmap

National Roadmap for Opportunity Youth

There are 6.7 million youth ages 16 to 24 – or almost 17 percent of their age group – who are out of school, out of work. These opportunity youth are not a homogenous group; they have unique stories and became disconnected for a variety of reasons. America must make reconnecting opportunity youth a national priority. In doing so, we need to set a bold goal for action that can be realized community by community, state by state, and across the nation. As a nation, we should set a goal to cut the number of opportunity youth in half by 2020.

Opportunity Road

Opportunity Road The Promise & Challenge of America's Forgotten Youth

They number in the millions—young people ages 16 to 24 who are out of school and out of work—and they are often forgotten by our society. Many have left high school without a diploma. Others may finish high school and even attend college, but still lack the essential education, skills and credentials needed to obtain a decent job in a 21st century economy—a job that will not only help them support a family, but also become the engaged citizens our nation needs them to be. Their future is our success.

Investing in Opportunity Youth

The Economics of Investing in Opportunity Youth

The economic impact of opportunity youth is felt by the youth themselves, by taxpayers, and across all society. Opportunity youth are less likely to be employed and more likely to rely on government supports. They are in worse health and are more likely to be involved in criminal activity. Purely from an economic perspective -- leaving aside important questions of social equity --  opportunity is being lost on a large scale.  The aggregate economic losses associated with opportunity youth are enormous. There are immediate losses during youth and there are long-term losses as these youth fail to prosper. These losses can be calculated from various perspectives: for the taxpayer and for society; by youth subgroups; by level of government; and for individual communities. To avoid perpetuating these losses over current and future cohorts it is critical to understand the policy context for opportunity youth.

Enterprising Pathways

Enterprising Pathways: Toward a National Plan of Action for Career and Technical Education

As other economies have superseded the U.S. in middle-class growth, the strength of our overall economy is in jeopardy. In order to succeed, our workforce needs preparation and skills. Reinvigorating the American workforce by providing multiple, opportunity-based pathways to the middle class will be critical to revitalizing our economy and strengthening America’s global competitiveness. The purpose of this report is to inform a national debate among business leaders, educators, policymakers, and the public about the role of career and technical education (CTE) in the United States.

CTE: Five Ways that Pay

Career and Technical Education: Five Ways that Pay

As jobs that require only high school or less have disappeared, post-secondary education and training on the job and in schools have become the gateways to the middle class. The education and training programs are commonly referred to as career and technical education (CTE). The American CTE system is unique, flexible, and responds well to changes in labor market conditions. Part One of this report explores in detail the five major CTE pathways at the sub-baccalaureate level. Part Two lists the occupations for which CTE prepares American workers.

Corporate Community Investment

Corporate Community Investment The Future of America's Communities and Competitiveness

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) estimates that businesses provide $6 billion to $8 billion annually in philanthropic contributions to communities across the country. But these community contributions are just the tip of the iceberg.

Report on the State of Corporate Community Investment

Over the past year, the Business Civic Leadership Center has conducted this research on two fronts: (1) by convening community-level, information-sharing, and partnership-building forums in eight regions across the country and (2) by partnering with the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University to survey officials in companies of all sizes to analyze how they engage in their local communities. Contrary to the popular stereotype that companies shift operations swiftly from community to community, many choose to stay put in particular locations for years  and invest significant dollars in those communities.

While the findings in Report on the State of Corporate Community Investment are not definitive, they do indicate that corporate community investment (CCI) is motivated by a desire to improve local competitive conditions and quality of life, "give back," and recruit and retain employees and customers. Our research findings lead us to believe that the future of how companies and their partners invest in local communities will be different than the past.

Untapped Potential

Untapped Potential: Fulfilling the Promise of Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Bigs and Littles They Represent

American children represent a great untapped potential in our country. For many young people, choices are limited and the goal of a productive adulthood is a remote one. This report paints a picture of who these children are, shares their insights and reflections about the barriers they face, and offers ways forward for Big Brothers Big Sisters as it undergoes a nationwide strategic planning process to initiate an engagement and advocacy strategy that will provide at-risk children with the tools they need to achieve success.

All Volunteer Force

All Volunteer Force From Military to Civilian Service

Introduction: The dawn of a new century found our nation at war in Afghanistan and Iraq in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Nearly two million Americans have now served in these wars, risking their lives to protect our country and preserve our freedoms. Their service is not mandated by government, but is a voluntary act of courage, conscience, and commitment. These servicemen and women join the ranks of approximately 45 million Americans before them who have served in America's wars from the War for Independence to the present day.

Executive Summary: The central message of this report is that a new generation of veterans is returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan without sufficient connections to communities, is enthusiastic to serve again, and points the way forward for how our nation can better integrate them into civilian life. Although the 1.8 million veterans are from every corner of our nation, they are strongly united in their perspectives regarding civic responsibilities and opportunities as they return home.

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