Young people ages 16 to 24 out of work are forgotten by society. Whether they leave high school without a diploma, or graduate high school and attend college, they lack the preparation needed to obtain a decent job in a 21st century economy. Ignoring them costs us billions of dollars every year in lost productivity and social services, and negatively impacts our own futures.
Youth who are out of school and out of work, dubbed “opportunity youth,” hold enormous potential to become key leaders in our society – given proper opportunities and tools. This report shares the voices of these young people who struggle to finish school and enter the workforce.
This report shares the reality and the opportunity of America’s “opportunity youth” through examining the histories of opportunity youth in 23 diverse locations across the United States and explores the opportunities to reconnect them to work and school. The future of our nation depends on how we choose to address this opportunity.