WASHINGTON – Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh convened the “Youth Employment Works Summit” today at U.S. Department of Labor headquarters to unveil the department’s strategy for building a workforce in which all young people can prepare for opportunities for high-quality careers.

Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves; public and private stakeholders in government, business, labor, non-profits and trade groups; and more than 150 youth employment experts and young people joined the Secretary to discuss how they can organize to deliver upon the strategy’s goals.

The summit included panel discussions that explored building pathways to good jobs for young people and centering federal agencies’ work on them, and how young people in disadvantaged communities or justice-involved youth can access the training and support services they need. The event also gave young workers an opportunity to describe their employment experiences and enabled stakeholders to share their priorities.

“Today is about critical partnerships. Every sector and every stakeholder have a role to play,” said Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “Establishing these partnerships is how we build the ‘no wrong door’ system. Wherever a young person reaches out: there needs to be a way into opportunity and a path forward into a career.”

The Youth Employment Works strategy centers on three goals:

Ensuring the workforce system offers seamless access to job opportunities and supportive services for young people entering the labor force from all pathways.
Encouraging partners across all public and private sectors to invest in workforce training and job services for all young people.
Guaranteeing all young people – especially so called “opportunity youth,” between 16 and 24 who are neither employed nor enrolled in school who face barriers to accessible jobs – have access to paid work experiences aligned with high-quality career pathways that are safe and age appropriate.
Representatives from the departments of Commerce, Education and Transportation were on hand and underscored their agencies’ commitments to support the whole government approach to investing in employment opportunities for the future workforce.

Today’s summit aligns with the department’s ongoing effort to help connect people in historically marginalized populations and communities that disproportionately face employment barriers with good jobs.

Read Secretary Walsh’s call to action for all stakeholders.  


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