For Immediate Release - September 29, 2010

Patrick-Murray Administration Moves Youth Employment Agenda Forward

New Report Released: Preparing Youth for Work and Learning in the 21st Century Economy

Boston, MA - September 29, 2010 - A new report was announced today at Weymouth High School - Preparing Youth for Work and Learning in the 21st Century Economy, dedicated to improving job prospects for young people in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board Youth Committee has been working steadily on one of the Governor's top workforce development priorities - enhancing the youth pipeline to meet the labor demands of a 21st Century economy.

The committee surveyed local Workforce Investment Boards regarding capacity and gathered feedback from business leaders on their practices and experiences in offering youth employment and internship opportunities. The data collected from these activities informed the committee's recommendations provided in the report released today.

This report follows a summer in which 8,760 youth were employed through a combination of state, federal and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars. Over the past four summers, the Patrick-Murray Administration has provided nearly 30,000 youth with summer and after-school employment opportunities.

"We are very pleased with the committee's work on the youth employment issue," said Secretary Goldstein. "An important finding is that employers made it clear that they are more likely to participate in youth career exploration activities or provide jobs when the youth are prepared and do not come to the experience cold."

The report contains three key recommendations with action plans for each:

  • Increase the number and quality of work experiences and career exploration activities for both in-school and out-of-school youth.
  • Organize collaboration among workforce, education, and human services agencies at both the state and regional levels to expand and strengthen services for youth and young adults.
  • Pilot a "multiple pathways" approach in selected regions that combines the education, workforce development, and human services support necessary to address the dropouts by creating new avenues to educational attainment, economic security, and upward mobility for all youth.

Tamika N. Correia, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board, said that the report is intended to be used as a guidebook for expanding year-round work and learning opportunities for all youth in the Commonwealth.

Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board Chair, Joseph Bevilacqua, stressed the all-year long aspect as well: "It's critical that our employer-partners and all funders understand that summer jobs are not enough. Our young people are better prepared to enter and remain in the workforce as young adults if we encourage and develop more year-round programs."

Please visit http://www.mass.gov/Elwd/docs/mwib/2010_youth_report.pdf pdf format of    MWIB Youth Report 2010  to view the report or write to alison.harris@state.ma.us for an electronic copy of the report.