Text Size
  • vtem news box
  • vtem news box
  • vtem news box
  • vtem news box
  • vtem news box
  • vtem news box
  • vtem news box
  • vtem news box

Senate Democrats Attend Forum Highlighting Youth Employment

urbanleague-IMG 0092Teen employment in Illinois and the Midwest has decreased drastically in the last decade, in large part due to the economic challenges facing the nation. In the past decade, teen employment in the United States has dropped from 45 percent to 26 percent. During this same period, Illinois' youth employment rate dropped from nearly 50 percent of teens employed in 2001 to only 29 percent today.

These statistics were presented by researchers from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts at an event hosted by the Chicago Urban League and the Alternative Schools Network and attended by State Senators Jacqueline Collins, Mattie Hunter, Kimberly Lightford, and Kwame Raoul.

The forum also featured discussion from lawmakers and other officials about state and federal policies and programs that can help teens find employment and educational opportunities.

"We are using vehicles like the statewide construction program and tax credits to encourage job creation amongst adults, and we've seen a decrease in the unemployment rate," said Sen. Hunter. "The General Assembly needs that same creative mentality and apply it to teen and youth employment. Continued action is needed both at the state and federal level. Without access to jobs as teenagers, an entire generation will be deprived of the development of talents and skills needed for future employment and education."

While teen employment is drastically down across the state and across demographics, those groups hardest hit include minorities, youth from low income homes, and high school dropouts. More than 70 percent of high school dropouts in Illinois were unemployed and were not receiving any form of further education. Only 16 percent of teens in the City of Chicago are currently employed.

During the presentation, teens asked lawmakers to urge congress to act on the The Pathways to Work Fund, a part of the American jobs Act before Congress. The act would provide $5 Billion for summer jobs, year-round jobs, and training for low-income teens, young adults, and adults in the United States.

If passed, the measure would give $1.5 billion to states to provide incentives to train and hire young adults. An additional $1.5 billion would go to organizations aimed at assisting low-income youth in finding employment and job training programs.

"It is vital that we address the challenges facing our youth regarding education and jobs," State Senator Jacqueline Collins said. "Statistics reveal that African-American teens in the city of Chicago face the bleakest picture, with only 10% employed. Education plays a significant role in a person's prospects for finding employment. Therefore, there is a dire need amongst our teens and young adults for employment that combines training with work to ensure their long-term job security. I applaud these young people who are willing to speak out about their experiences, and I join with them in urging Congress to pass the Pathways Back to Work Act."

Further Reading: http://www.pantagraph.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois/report-teen-employment-drops-in-illinois/article_0bde5fda-315b-5f86-a9fe-5a99fe945545.html



Photo of the Day

Support automatic voter registration in Illinois

News Releases

IMAGE Bertino-Tarrant: Outsourcing prison nurses at Stateville is bad for our community
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
PLAINFIELD — In response to the Rauner administration telling prison nurses that their jobs are being outsourced, State Sen. Jennifer...

IMAGE Nearly 400 union jobs brought to Des Plaines
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
Des Plaines – Earlier today, Mariano’s groceries opened it’s newest location in the city of Des Plaines, creating 375 new union...

IMAGE Close call prompts Stadelman to introduce emergency prescription refill legislation (VIDEO)
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) realized the importance of allowing pharmacists to fill emergency prescriptions on a...

IMAGE Trotter: Antiquated, unfair bond process hurts the poor
Monday, 20 March 2017
SPRINGFIELD – To end a system that punishes the poor, State Senator Donne Trotter is sponsoring a proposal that eliminates the state’s...

IMAGE Video: Manar still looking for budget answers from Rauner administration
Monday, 20 March 2017
Senator Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and chairman of a key Senate budget committee, explains the status of budget negotiations at the Capitol,...



We'll be live tweeting from Committees. Use these hashtags to follow along:

#SenAg - Agriculture
#SenAp1 - Appropriations I
#SenAp2 - Appropriations II
#SenCom - Commerce and Econ. Dev.
#SenCrim - Criminal Law
#SenEd - Education
#SenEn - Energy and Public Utilities
#SenEnv - Environment & Conservation
#SenExAp - Executive Appointments
#SenExec - Executive
#SenFin - Financial Institutions
#SenGam - Gaming
#SenHiEd - Higher Education
#SenHum - Human Services
#SenIns - Insurance
#SenJud - Judiciary
#SenLab - Labor
#SenLG - Local Government
#SenLic - Licensed Activities and Pensions
#SenPH - Public Health
#SenRev - Revenue
#SenRfrm - Government Reform
#SenStG - State Government
#SenTech - Telecommunications & I.T.
#SenTran - Transportation
#SenVets - Veterans Affairs

ILSenDems on Facebook

ILSenDems on SoundCloud

The Great Pension Debate
subscribe 1