Call to Action: Hire


Hire youth and increase employer demand for wider pipelines of young talent.


  • Help large, medium and small businesses become champions for hiring youth; share tools to support on-boarding of new employees; and ramp up job-training programs, internships and modern-day apprenticeships.
  • Involve entrepreneurs as an effective way to identify solutions that expand opportunity; emphasize entrepreneurship as a way to give young adults a pathway to success and skills that employers covet.
  • Make a powerful business case to employers for hiring youth, especially those from non-traditional backgrounds, given the significant return on investment through greater employee loyalty, talent and energy.
  • Build initiatives with cross-sector input from the start, collectively engaging employers in order to hear their needs and then prepare young adults to meet them.


  • Increase hiring and/or providing of meaningful, hands-on opportunities for young people that benefit both youth and employers. Businesses with supply chains and vendors should also ask this commitment from their partner companies.
  • Identify internal barriers to accessing wider talent pipelines — such as degree requirements for every job, even when the necessary skillsets do not require one — and explore the value of human resources solutions in modifying or removing these requirements.
  • Approach the hiring of youth not as a discrete program, but rather as a mechanism to shift systems, mindset and orientation that drive scale.


  • Connect students to employers for some form of work experience; promote a powerful business case to employers for hiring youth.
  • Provide information and collaborate with employers, local workforce boards and nonprofits focused on youth employment in an effort to match student training with specific employer needs.


  • Set goals for increases in and improvements to apprenticeships, internships, job shadowing and other forms of work experience in all states.
  • Regularly report youth employment numbers to local, regional and statewide groups and elected officials.


  • We Got This: A Call to Action for Youth Employment
  • How employers can reduce youth unemployment  
  • Grads of Life: tools to connect leading employers to employment pathways, including mentoring, school-to-work, internships, and hiring

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