Lengthy periods of unemployment early in a young person's work life can have lasting negative effects on future earnings, productivity, and employment opportunities. Recent analysis indicates that young people who are unemployed for as long as six months risk earning an estimated $22,000 less over the next 10 years due to the negative impact of prolonged unemployment. For the 967,000 young people who experienced a lengthy period of unemployment, which was an all-time high reached in 2010, it is estimated that these individuals will lose a total of $21.4 billion in earnings over the next 10 years. Developing policies such as those under the Urban Jobs Act would assist youth in obtaining the education and skills necessary for success in the labor market, helping reduce youth unemployment and strengthen the economy.The Urban Jobs Act would create an Urban Jobs Program that would award competitive grants to national and regional non-profit organizations, in partnership with local affiliates, to provide a holistic approach for preparing youth ages 18 through 24 for entry into the job market. An organization that received a grant would provide a comprehensive set of services that includes:
- Case management services to help participants effectively utilize the services offered by the program;
- Educational programming, including skills assessment, reading and math remediation, educational enrichment, General Education Development (GED) credential preparation, and post-secondary education;
- Employment and job readiness activities, including mentoring, placement in community service opportunities, internships, on-the-job training, occupational skills training, job placement in unsubsidized jobs, and personal development; and
- Support services, including health and nutrition referral, housing assistance, training in interpersonal and basic living skills, transportation, child care, clothing, and other assistance as needed.