Youth Employment Matters! — High-Quality Solutions and the Role of Corporate Engagement

Event Date: 
Friday, October 3, 2014 - 9:00am

Registration for this event is now CLOSED. No on-site registration will be available.

A huge gap exists between the need for skilled, educated, and well-prepared workers and the supply of such workers in the United States today.  Nearly 31% of high school graduates cannot meet any of the benchmarks for college readiness as measured by the ACT test, and college graduates are ill-equipped for the workplace according to 61% of hiring managers surveyed in 2013. The gap is even worse for the estimated 6.7 million “disconnected youth” in America—young people aged 16-24 who are not in school or working and thus are not acquiring the skills, experience, and credentials needed to succeed academically or financially. 


Please join Urban Alliance and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation for Youth Employment Matters!  High-Quality Solutions and the Role of Corporate Engagement. This event will feature discussions on the importance of youth workforce development, collaborative initiatives that are working to narrow the current skills gap, and ways for the business community to further support development of America's future workforce. Speakers will include executives from Marriott International, Bank of America, Deloitte & Touche, LLP, the Urban Institute, Futures and Options, and distinguished government officials.

Legislative employees should consult with the House and Senate ethics office, as appropriate, to determine whether there would be any prohibition on their attendance at this event. Executive branch employees should obtain written permission to attend this event from their designated agency ethics office and should send a copy of the permission to Kathryn Sullivan either by email (ksullivan@uschamber.com) or by fax (202-463-3129) prior to the event.


Speakers include:

Joe Biden
Vice President
United States of America

Melody Barnes
Melody Barnes Solutions, LLC

Anne M. Finucane
Global Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer
Bank of America

Kathleen Matthews
Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer
Marriott International

Thomas Nides
Vice Chairman
Morgan Stanley

Sarah Rosen Wartell
Urban Institute

David Williams
Deloitte Financial
Advisory Services LLP



8:00 a.m. Registration Opens
9:05 a.m.


  • John R. McKernan, Jr., President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
9:10 a.m.

Youth Employment Matters!

  • Eshauna Smith, CEO, Urban Alliance
9:15 a.m.

Youth Employment Matters: The Employer Perspective

  • David Williams, CEO, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, LLP

9:25 a.m.

Introduction of Keynote Speaker

  • Nathaniel Cole, Executive Director, Urban Alliance, Washington, D.C.
  • Johnathan Hill, Alumnus, Urban Alliance, Washington, D.C.
9:30 a.m.

Keynote Address

  • Vice President Joe Biden
9:55 a.m.

Business As a Critical Partner

  • Thomas J. Donohue, President & CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The Role of Corporate Engagement

A panel of highly esteemed business leaders discuss the importance of youth workforce development, colaborative initiatives that are working to narrow the current skills gap, and ways for the business community to further support the development of America's future workforce. 

  • Melody C. Barnes, CEO, Melody Barnes Solutions LLC
  • Anne Finucane, Global Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, Bank of America
  • Kathleen Matthews, Chief Global Communications & Public Affairs Officer, Marriott International
  • Thomas Nides, Vice Chairman, Morgan Stanley

Moderator: Sarah Rosen Wartell, President Urban Institute

11:00 a.m.

Call to Action

Eshuana Smith, CEO, Urban Alliance