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With More Than One-Third Of Minority Youth Unemployed, Fattah And Gillibrand Introduce Legislation To Connect At-Risk City Youth With Job Opportunities

Urban Jobs Act Provides Critical Resources for Non-Profit Groups to Prepare At-Risk Youth for New Employment and Educational Opportunities

WASHINGTON, April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With more than one-third of the nation's minority youth unemployed, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Chaka Fattah have announced legislation aimed at increasing employment among at-risk youth. The Urban Jobs Act would provide federal funding to nonprofit organizations, allowing them to carry out programming to prepare youth for employment, particularly those who have dropped out of high school or have been subject to the criminal justice process.

"Supporting education and training for our city youth is a smart investment that will help rebuild our local economy and pay dividends over the long term," said Senator Gillibrand. "This program would give city organizations the tools and resources they need to help our youth prepare for future jobs, find employment opportunities, and reach their full potential. The skills they would acquire through this program are invaluable. Helping our youth compete in this difficult economy will have a lasting, positive impact on our community."

"I am excited to be working with the National Urban League and Senator Gillibrand on such an important piece of legislation," said Rep. Fattah. "The Urban Jobs Act will help our nation's youth acquire the training and skills necessary to participate in society in a meaningful and productive way.  In turn, this bill will strengthen families, communities, and our nation as a whole."

Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League said, "The Urban Jobs Act provides an opportunity to strengthen investments in at-risk youth and young adults in a way that promotes their employability.  There is no better return on taxpayers' dollars than to invest in America's youth.  We look forward to working with Sen. Gillibrand and Rep. Fattah to help pass this important legislation."

The unemployment rate for minority youths in March was approximately 33.8 percent for African Americans and 28.1 percent for Hispanics. African American youths are about 1.6 times more likely than white students to drop out of high school, and Hispanic youths are almost 3 times more. Additionally, the labor force participation rate for youth without a high school diploma is about 13 percentage points lower than the labor force participation rate for high school graduates.

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