URBAN ECONOMIC POLICY

TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS

JOBS, EDUCATION
AND THE WORKFORCE

Federal Minimum
Hourly Wage Rate
Adjustment

Public Education: The Future of Our Cities
Expanding Quality After-School and
Out-of-School Time Programs

Effective Transition to
and Implementation of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998

Youth Activities in the Workforce Investment Act
Welfare-to-Work
Welfare Reform: Reinvesting State Welfare Savings and Greater Coolaboration
Accreditation of
Childcare, Early Education
and School Aged Care
Programs

Publicly-Funded, Transitional Jobs for the Hard-to-Employ

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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RESOLUTIONS INDEX

JOBS, EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE

YOUTH ACTIVITIES IN THE WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACT

WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors has a strong commitment to the improvement of job and educational prospects for disadvantaged youth, and believes that summer employment opportunities are critical to achieving those goals; and

WHEREAS, The U. S. Conference of Mayors has a strong commitment to improving the lives of out-of-school youth in high poverty areas and supported the creation and funding of the Youth Opportunity Grants program which was proposed in President Clinton’s 1997 budget; and

WHEREAS, the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, which was signed on August 7, 1998 and supported by The U.S. Conference of Mayors, includes the opportunity for a summer jobs program for disadvantaged youth as part of the workforce development system and ensures funding of the $250 million Youth Opportunity Grants Program for out-of-school youth in high poverty areas; and

WHEREAS, The Workforce Investment Act provides for a systematic approach to serving youth that offers a broad range of coordinated services; and

WHEREAS, youth activities under the Workforce Investment Act, which are offered as a menu of varied services that may be provided, in combination or alone, at different times during a youth’s development, include summer employment opportunities; and

WHEREAS, the federal summer jobs program has provided a window to the world of work for disadvantaged youth who would not otherwise have the opportunities to earn a paycheck and learn real job skills; and

WHEREAS, summer jobs provides educational and enrichment opportunities leading to academic improvement for millions of disadvantaged youth; and

WHEREAS, the summer jobs program helps youth develop life skills and values that will prepare them for the challenges of adolescence and the responsibilities of adulthood; and

WHEREAS, communities and cities benefit when young people are engaged productively during the summer, providing much-needed services in hospitals, parks, day care centers, and public and non-profit organizations; and

WHEREAS, participation in the summer jobs program can contribute to the reduction in criminal and high-risk behavior for youth; and

WHEREAS, dollars spent on summer jobs are also an investment in the local economy; and

WHEREAS, private sector support for this program is built on the foundation of a public sector commitment consisting of a federal, state, and local partnership; and

WHEREAS, the private sector is unable to absorb the additional demand for summer work without federal support due to fiscal limitations, especially in the hiring of 14 and 15 year olds; and

WHEREAS, there are 4.7 million youth ages 16-24 living in inner-city and rural areas with poverty rates of 30 percent or higher and these youth face considerable barriers to succeeding in life; and

WHEREAS, the employment rate for out-of-school youth in high-poverty areas is 46 percent; and

WHEREAS, in many cities the drop-out rate for African-American and Hispanic youth is over 50 percent; and

WHEREAS, the proportion of young African-American high school dropouts who are currently not employed exceeds 70 percent; and

WHEREAS, the pervasive joblessness of minority males contributes fundamentally to various problems of inner cities--poverty, crime, welfare dependency, high proportion of female-headed families, and drug abuse; and

WHEREAS, the Clinton Administration’s Youth Opportunity Grants program begins to address some of these problems and complements the economic strategy of Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities; and

WHEREAS, the key goal of these opportunity areas would be to boost the employment rate of out-of-school youth from current levels of less than 50 percent to considerably higher rates and thus have profound effects on all aspects of life in these target areas; and

WHEREAS, this program would have a strong emphasis on mainstreaming youth into the private sector, both in terms of immediate job placement and work-based learning opportunities to increase long-term employment prospects; and

WHEREAS, this initiative would require responsible behavior on the part of the youth as a condition of continued participation in employment programs--an emphasis on personal accountability; and

WHEREAS, the Youth Opportunity Grants program would build strong links to the school system and encourage the use of state and local educational funds to support education and training services for youth who have dropped out-of-school,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The U.S.Conference of Mayors urges Congress to continue its long term commitment to a strong summer jobs program which is now only a part of a year round youth program by enacting appropriations funding for year round youth activities that would include at a minimum funding for the summer employment opportunities and the current year round program equivalent to or greater than the FY 1999 funding levels for these federal youth jobs programs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress to help contribute to a solution to pervasive poverty and joblessness of inner-city youth and young adults and ensure that funding for the out-of-school youth initiative exists beyond FY 1999; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress to increase funding for all youth activities so that the workforce development system which is evolving under the universally accessible design of the Workforce Investment Act, is able to meet the infinite service demand and critical need of providing opportunities for disadvantaged and all at-risk youth.

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