The very promise on which America was founded – equal opportunity for all – is out of reach for too many. Building on our work at the 2016 Summit, Opportunity Nation has convened a series of events, Restoring the American Dream, to highlight the six Opportunity Millennium Goals laid out in the Our Opportunity Nation plan, which was signed by more than 130 members of the Opportunity Nation Coalition. The six goals will be the subject of cross-sector conversations about how to close the opportunity gap in the country and ensure our nation’s children and young people are on a path to success. Together we unite to promote innovative, evidence-based strategies to reinvigorate the American Dream and restore the country’s promise of opportunity for all.
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) demonstrated their bipartisan relationship — both referencing their genuine friendship — and commitment to re-engaging Opportunity Youth by re-introducing the Leveraging and Energizing America’s Apprenticeship Programs (LEAP) Act, a bill to increase apprenticeships through a new federal tax credit for employers. The LEAP Act will offer a $1,000 federal tax credit to companies for each new apprentice they hire. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) also spoke, sharing her vision for working families.
Co-convened by Gap Inc. and The Forum for Youth Investment and supported by AT&T and USA Funds, the event hosted 100 cross-sector leaders and young adults, including twenty of our Opportunity Leaders in person and boasted a reach of about 8,000 more via multiple Facebook Live videos. One of our Opportunity Leaders, Anjonette Hall, blogged about her experience.
A special thank you to our co-conveners The Forum for Youth Investment and Gap Inc. and our event partners AT&T and USA Funds for making this event possible.
About “Our Opportunity Nation”
In September 2016, Opportunity Nation and our Coalition released a plan to expand opportunity in America. The plan sets forth policy recommendations that are evidence-based, bipartisan and cross-sector. “Our Opportunity Nation” articulated six “Opportunity Millennium Goals” to galvanize the nation and keep all sectors accountable for progress over the next decade. Currently, the plan includes the signatures of over 130 organizations.
The first event focused on re-engaging Opportunity Youth because 5.3 million Opportunity Youth remain disconnected from school and work. They represent tremendous potential and talent for our communities, economy and society. Opportunity Youth who remain disconnected from school and work are more likely to become economic burdens: in 2011, youth disconnection cost taxpayers $93.7 billion in government support and lost taxpayer revenue. In addition, a 2012 study estimated that the lifetime economic burden of one cohort of Opportunity Youth is $1.6 trillion to the taxpayer and $4.7 trillion to society.
Join the conversation about the plan and related events on social media using #OurOppNation.