THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND YOUTH
Developmentof Summer Jobs for Youths
Developmentof Summer Jobs for Youths
Everycountry across the world is concerned about the welfare of itseconomy. It is therefore the mandate of every government to ensurethat the economy remains healthy and steadily growing. Hence, it hasto come up with policies and economic measures that are essential forthe growth of the economy. It is the duty of the administration inplace to know the resources that are in the country and how they canwell be utilized efficiently. It has also to make sure that theseresources are maintained and that their contribution to the GDP ofthe country steadily grows. In most cases, the government of the daycomes up with initiatives that would stir up the economy. Theseprograms predominantly touch on the empowerment of youths besidessmall business and the private sector as a whole. This is because theyouths are more energetic and form a larger portion of the laborforce. If empowered, there is high possibility that there will be aneconomic growth and development. The federal government, just likeother government, has a big role to play to ensure that the economyof America grows. In its quest to empower youths, the Obamagovernment came up with a program of developing summer jobs targetingyouths. This acts as a tool of economic development among youths. Thefirst part of this paper gives a brief description of the program andthe second part highlights the government intervention to ensure theefficacy of the program.
Descriptionof development of summer jobs program Economicdevelopment can be explained as the process through which wealth isformed on a national, local or state economy. Economists argue thatthe resources are scarce, but they have to be efficiently distributedto the citizens. Anything that the government of the day does, highlyinfluences the economic development of the country and hence itsgrowth. However, the programs geared towards developing the economyare normally more narrowly defined as government-sponsored programsthat help particular businesses (Crowley, 1997). What is so uniquewith such programs is that they offer assistance that is customizedto the needs of individual firms. Youths are of course a majorconcern of the government (Borges-Mendez, 2012). Many policies thatare made by economic experts are fashioned towards youths.
Economically,young people are very significant in the development of the economy.They form the big portion of the workforce as well as the majority ofconsumers in any country. Issues to do with unemployment, mostlytouch on the youths. For any economy to be termed as a developedeconomy, issues to do with unemployment rates must be lower and theGross Domestic Product has to increase per Capita. The GDP highlydepends on the production of the economy and in that way, labor forceis very essential. In the United States, youths dominate thepopulation. For this reason, ignoring the needs of this group impliesa disservice to the labor and hence adverse effects on the economy ofthe country. Every summer, a great number of young people leaveschool to look for opportunities which can enable them to developtheir careers. This is a threat to the economy since they can engagein activities that derail the economy suc as crime. In the past mostof the companies were reluctant towards offering these opportunities(Borges-Mendez, 2012). The intervention of the federal government inthe past decade led to the establishment of programs which solvedthis problem. The summer youth employment programs commonlyabbreviated as SYEP is an initiative by the government, which has ledto the creation of opportunities that link young people with theirwould-be employers across 15 cities in the United States of America.While the summer youth employment programs have been well sponsoredby the federal government, many American youths have developed theirhands-on and professional skills leading to poverty reduction andimproved rate of school attendance with reduced vulnerability toengage in juvenile and criminal justice system (Heller,2014).
GovernmentIntervention in Economic Issues Concerning the Youth
Theoutgoing president of the United States, Barrack Obama, identifiedgaps in the economic issues concerning the youths of America and onthe 30thday of January 2014, he asked government agencies to formulateprograms that would help curb this issue. In his directive to thevice president, he acknowledged the challenges faced by thispopulation while preparing for the labor markets. Lippmann, Ryberg,Carney and Moone, (2015) affirm that exposure to a variety of careerand professional information and opportunities among the youth leadsto better outcomes in their tertiary education. In the address by thepresident, young people should not be fully disconnected from theenvironments of education and work since this may lead to theemergence of a population with a lot of involvement with the criminaljustice system and difficulties in taking adulthood tasks. Summerprograms expose young people work experience while they are still inschool. Apart from being a source of income, these programs haverevealed positive outcomes in the education of the students if skillsattained in the job are combined with what is taught in school. Thoseinvolved in these work experience programs have gained vocationaltraining which has helped them in job search and placement (Lippman,Ryberg, Carney and Moone, 2015).
Inline with this program, the government has developed other avenueswhere the youths can empower and educate themselves. Similar programsestablished include Youth Build, T-STEM, and Year Up. Youth Build isa program for young people whose age ranges between 16 and 24 yearspursuing their GEDs or high school diplomas. In the course of theirstudies, they are allowed to build cheap housing facilities in theircommunities (Borges-Mendez, 2012). By the time of graduation of theselearners, most of them gain vital basic building skills and arere-connected to the work opportunities in their areas ofspecialization. T-STEM is academies which offer secondary schooleducation aimed at the betterment of performance in mathematical andscientific subjects (Lippman et al, 2015). This program wasestablished to increase the population of learners pursuing science,engineering, mathematics and technology careers. Year Up is meant foryoung people with the range of age between 18 and 24 years. This is aone year vocational training program approached in a verycomprehensive way. Participants of this program are paid in aperiodic manner. Its content focuses on training the youths inoccupation aspects, effective communication in business, skills ofprofessionalism, in and post-programs in employment and how to createconnections in employment (Crowley, 1997).
Analysisof the efficacy of the Summer Youth Employment Programs
Sum,Khatiwala, Trubskyy and Palma (2015) affirm that since the inceptionof the summer youth empowerment programs, millions of young peoplehave benefited directly through monetary payments while a majority ofthem have gained hands-on experiences in their fields ofspecialization. Cities such as St Louis, Miami, Louisville, SanFrancisco, Sacramento, Milwaukee, Chicago, Dallas, Oakland, JerseyCity, Detroit, Jacksonville, New York City, Seattle have received alot of support from the federal state to enable them promote theseprograms (Lippman et al, 2015). Young people need early work exposurefor a healthy development. Most of the people who get placed in thisprogram have the option to explore different career options, discovertheir individual areas of interest, abilities and strengths. They arealso allowed to acquire knowledge on the culture of the workingenvironment, establishing networks in their fields of professionalismand develop the skills required in their fields. The government hasestablished numerous networks and coordination centers to ensure thatthis program is fully operational. They include partnerships with theprivate sector, funding of local authorities, partnering with publicschools and the creation of opportunities in state and governmentdepartments (Crowley, 1997).
Inits attempt to connect SYEPs to local authorities and local workforcesystems, the United States government has used its cities to ensurethat summer employment programs have new partnerships and structuresof the organization. The table below summarizes how different citiesin the US have organized this program and the Coordinating bodies.
STL Youth Jobs
STL Youth Jobs
Youth Empowerment Initiative
Office of Economic development
United Way of the Bay Area
Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Initiative
The City of Sacramento
Classrooms 2 Careers
The City of Oakland
New York City
PENCIL Fellows program
Center for Youth Empowerment
Virtual Enterprise Summer Internship Program
Futures and Options Summer Internship Program
The PENCIL Incorporation
Mayor’s Fund to Advance the New York City
Virtual Enterprise International
Futures and options
Earn and Learn Community Work Experience
Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board
Miami Dade County
Employment Partnership Program
NAF/ JP Morgan Scholars Youth
Technical education, magnet education choice association
Public Schools in the city
Mayor’s Summer works
Center Theatre Group Workforce Development Program
Early Workforce development program
YOLA Workforce Development
The Music Center of Los Angeles County
Center Theatre Group
Natural History Museum
Philharmonic Association of Los Angeles County
Jersey City summer works
United way of North East Florida
Youth Empowerment Program
United way of North East Florida
Grow Young Talent of Detroit
City Connect Detroit
Mayor’s intern Fellows Program
Education is freedom
One summer Chicago
Thispaper has examined the role of the federal government in developingjobs for the youths. I is clear that the economy of the countryhighly depends on the labor force which is highly constituted by theyouths. This implies that for any economy to grow, the labor forcemust be maximally employed. This calls for job creation andplacement. It is therefore the mandate to the government to ensureemployment rates rise. This is done in relation to the educationsystem. The government comes up with economic policies that enhancethe education sector to ensure the young people are economicallyviable after their education. Youths in the low income cadre havelittle chances to get economic opportunities in comparison to thosewith high income levels. According to Borges-Mendez (2012), theseemployment programs have promoted long term employment opportunitiesfor the youth. In a study carried out by the state department oflabor, 85% of young people who engage in these programs have theability to get employment opportunities in the subsequent year asopposed to those who are not engaged in these programs(Borges-Mendez,2012). Youths with advanced ages have 100% likelihood of securingemployment opportunities if they were engaged in these programs formore than 40 weeks. Apart from securing employment opportunities,students are able to get and develop innovative skills, strengthentheir links and acquisition of financial capabilities. Young peopleneed early work exposure for a healthy development. This program hashelped in ensuring that this exposure is well taken care of. Theprogram gives youths the option to explore different career options,discover their individual areas of interest, abilities and strengths.It also allows them to acquire knowledge on the culture of theworking environment, establishing networks in their fields ofprofessionalism and develop the skills required in their fields.
Borges-Mendez,R. (2012). Competitiveness and Workforce Development: The Case of theBoston Area Advanced Technological Education Connections (BATEC).SSRNElectronic
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Heller,S. (2014). Summer jobs reduce violence among disadvantaged youth.Science,346(6214),1219-1223.
Lippman,L. H., Ryberg, R., Carney, R., & Moore, K. A. (2015). Workforceconnections: key`softskills` that foster youth workforce success: toward a consensusacross fields.
Sum,A., Khatiwada, I., Trubskyy, M., & Palma, S. (2014). Theplummeting labor market fortunes of teens and young adults. BrookingsInstitution.