Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg recently launched Thousand Strong, a workforce development program bringing together school districts, high schools and students with community organizations and businesses to provide year-round paid internships to local youth. The Sacramento Metro Chamber and the Metro Chamber Foundation are proud partners in this effort to ensure every young person can pave a pathway to success.
The effort is critically important as the numbers show our youth are currently struggling for employment opportunities. With 2.3 million people, Sacramento is the 22nd largest metropolitan region in the U.S., yet according to a recent Sacramento Business Journal article, the city also has a 24.8% youth unemployment rate – one of the highest in the nation and the second highest in the state. This does not set our workforce of tomorrow up for success.
Learning in the workplace is not a new concept. Informal, on-the-job training is an integral part of all workforce development. We’re ready to take this a step further. In order for us to ensure a strong economy in the future, we must look to our youth. Students need to have the skills and motivation to thrive in tomorrow’s economy, and it is our responsibility – community organizations and businesses alike, to provide them with the opportunities to work and learn.
At the time Thousand Strong launched, we shared 240 employment opportunities and 400 students signed on. Businesses like Arden Fair Mall, Sutter Health, PG&E, and Siemens are committed to the Mayor’s effort.
But we could use your support. Make this a part of your business and investment strategy. The sustainability of our region’s future comes down to its youth, and we need to make a concerted effort to invest in them, just as we invest in our roads and bridges.
Thousand Strong is designed to improve business recruitment, retention, and expansion. Hiring motivated youth and helping prepare them for the world of work isn’t just a noble cause; it makes a direct impact on your own business and the economic health of our entire community. Can we count you in?
To learn more, please visit ThousandStrong.org.
Source: Comstock’s magazine