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United Way Blog

United Way Partners with Business Leaders to Tackle Youth Unemployment

More than 13 percent of the world’s youth are unemployed. That’s 71 million youth who aren’t bringing home a paycheck, not to mention the additional 156 million youth who do have a job, yet still remain in extreme or moderate poverty. And in most labor markets around the world, the numbers are particularly dire for women.

This is a problem that affects everyone. Youth unemployment not only represents an enormous loss of human capital (that would otherwise be helping to grow the economy); it also drives an increase in crime and social service costs (because youth who are unemployed are more likely to be unhealthy).

This is also a problem that cries out for comprehensive solutions, and collaboration between all sectors of society. In the United States, a large part of the problem is that too many youth coming out of school don’t have the skills in demand from employers. That’s why United Way works with U.S. Bank on the Career and College Academy, a new initiative in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

United Way of the Greater Twin Cities' Career and College Academy allows high school students to combine college credit earning opportunities with work-based learning experiences. Employers like U.S. Bank actually have a hand in crafting the curriculum, ensuring that students garner the skills and experience that will prepare them for in-demand jobs.

So far, 13 Career Academies have been launched, benefiting more than 200 students. Over the next several years, United Way's Career and College Academy will enroll as many as 4,500 students. By partnering with our allies in the private sector, we are creating change that benefits these students and the economy as a whole.

*We encourage you to read MinnPost reporter Ibrahim Hirsi's original report on the Career and College Academy.