“More Jobs, Less Violence: Connecting Youth to a Brighter Future,” is the title of the 2017 Youth Employment Hearing sponsored by Alternative Schools Network and held at the Chicago Urban League on January 30, 2017. Other co-sponsors of the hearing include Chicago Area Project, Youth Connection Charter School, Westside Health Authority, Black United Fund of IL, National Youth Advocate Program, La Casa Norte, Lawrence Hall, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Heartland Alliance and Metropolitan Family Services. Each of these groups work directly with young people, providing mentorship and employment related opportunities. Elected officials from federal, state and local government attended to hear the data presented and the voices of young people who testified on their experiences related to employment. This report, produced by UIC’s Great Cities Institute, provides a supplement to the voices of the young people and those that work with them.
Despite a growing national economic recovery, a new report by the University of Illinois Chicago Great Cities Institute, Lost: The Crisis Of Jobless And Out Of School Teens and Young Adults In Chicago, Illinois and the U.S., shows that Chicago is one of the nation's leaders in youth joblessness with 88 percent of Chicago’s black teens (16-19) and 85 percent Hispanic teens jobless. Nearly 1 of 2 young Black men, 20-24, in Chicago are jobless and out of school – 47%. 44% in Illinois and 32% in the country. In response to these findings, as well as proposed cuts in federal and state employment programs, and the rising death toll as gang battles escalate, a group of youth, legislators, public officials and key agency leaders will tackle the impact of youth joblessness at a public hearing, Solution to the CRISIS: Youth Employment.