U.S. Chamber Foundation Releases Guide Outlining Strategies for More Effective Youth Employment Initiatives

June 1, 2016

A New Framework for Business Engagement

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) today released a new report, which serves as a guide for increasing employment among America’s youth by reimagining business community engagement to bring effective work-based learning and employment programs to scale.

In today’s economy, though the business community is in dire need of talent, young adults find themselves increasingly disconnected from employment. Meanwhile, existing programs designed to address this gap are often challenged in attempts to scale those initiatives to meet workforce needs.

The report, titled “Talent Orchestrators: Scaling Youth Employment Through Business-Facing Intermediaries,” offers a framework for how employers, through partnerships with intermediary organizations, can more effectively source talent through youth employment programs.

“Young adults are facing a great deal of difficulty entering today’s workforce, but their ambition and readiness to learn are valuable resources the business community would do well to harness,” said Cheryl Oldham, senior vice president for the U.S. Chamber Foundation Center for Education and Workforce. “We hope this report will serve as a roadmap that allows for greater business community engagement, creating more opportunities in the workforce for our nation’s aspiring youth.”

This particular paper, the first in a series, explores the potential of traditional student-employer intermediaries to serve as “talent orchestrators.” It offers nine specific principles by which intermediaries can overcome existing hurdles to create shared value, manage talent sourcing, and provide training and credentialing support in order to fulfill a talent orchestrator role, thereby more effectively supporting employer partners.

 “The right combination of principles will help intermediaries obtain employer buy-in, make a good match, and ensure youth employees are equipped to add value on day one,” said Oldham. “It’s a win-win proposition: Properly leveraging business-facing intermediaries as talent orchestrators can help tackle the youth employment challenge and help businesses meet their talent pipeline needs.”

The report is the latest work of the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s broader youth employment initiative, which is focused on closing the skills gap by providing customized tactics for the private sector to develop young talent as part of its overall business strategy.

To learn more and view a copy of the report, please visit YouthEmploymentWorks.org.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness. We educate the public on the conditions necessary for business and communities to thrive, how business positively impacts communities, and emerging issues and creative solutions that will shape the future.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

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