Connecting Youth to Jobs and Employers to Talent
4.6 million Americans between 16 and 24 are out of school and also not working. Often referred to as Opportunity Youth (OY), these young, motivated workers are a vital and untapped resource looking to fill millions of open roles. In fact, retention rates for opportunity youth are up to 300 percent higher than for their entry-level peers. Many young people, however, are unaware that opportunities are available, nor are they aware of the steps they need to take to secure these jobs. At the same time, employers often lack strategies to effectively recruit, train and retain young workers who face systemic barriers on their path to employment.
In May 2018, Atlanta became the eighth city to hold a youth job and resource fair on behalf of 100,000 Opportunities Initiative – a national coalition of employers focused on hiring OY. The Atlanta fair connected more than 2,600 local youth to employment opportunities and other resources to promote their economic and social mobility. Because of the excitement, heavy engagement and overall effort of the Atlanta coalition, the city was named a “demonstration city” by the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative to carry out long-term efforts serving OY in the Atlanta region, launching Opportunity ATL.
Atlanta Awarded Grant from National Youth Hiring Initiative
The Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) was awarded a grant from the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative through the Schultz Family Foundation to serve as the central entity leading and coordinating the national coalition’s efforts in the Atlanta region. MAC is working closely with key partners – Metro Atlanta eXchange for Workforce Solutions, United Way of Greater Atlanta, and WorkSource Metro Atlanta – to ensure the best outcomes for jobseekers and employers.
Over the next 18 months, Opportunity ATL will develop metro Atlanta’s capacity as an employment hub to ensure that local opportunity youth are ready for work, connected to employment opportunities, and retain jobs. It will do this by building out a robust program of connection and engagement for employers, community-based organizations, the public sector and Opportunity Youth.