The PSA Every Employer Needs to See (and You Should Too)•
Caitlin Moscatello, Writer and Editor
It’s hardly news that many millennials are having a hard time finding work, even with a college education. So then perhaps its disappointing, but not surprising, to learn that almost 6 million Americans ages 16 to 24 are neither employed or in school, according to the Clinton Foundation. To help what some are calling “The Lost Generation” find themselves—and their connection to education and the workforce—the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) announced a program in June called Job One to encourage businesses to train, hire, and mentor young talent. On Tuesday, at the 10th annual CGI meeting in New York City, the Ad Council in partnership with Year Up, the Employment Pathways Project, ConPRmetidos, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, New Options Project, and Opportunity Nation launched a new PSA for its “Grads for Life” campaign to help employers hire qualified young people without four-year college degrees for the more than 4 million vacant positions within the U.S.
“As we continue the work of Job One at the Clinton Foundation, we need to continue to build partnerships and to recruit more businesses to solve this important economic challenge. The Grads of Life PSA campaign is the first effort to drive employer demand for the millions of low-income young adults that are a huge source of untapped talent in our country…,” said Clinton, in a statement released by the Ad Council.
One success story from the Year Up organization, a job opportunity organization that is part of the Grads for Life campaign, is Abigail West, 22. West moved from St. Maarten to New York City with her mother and sister, and upon graduating from high school, was unable to afford college. She applied and was accepted by Year Up and, given her interest in technology, was taught hardware support, software support, and soft skills (like interviewing and networking). After receiving training, West was hired for a six-month internship in the IT department at Citigroup, and now she’s working full-time in IT for Credit Suisse while going to college part-time at night. Her goal: “Hopefully I’ll take my boss’s job,” West says, laughing. “I tell him every day, ‘I’m going to take your job.’ He’s a project manager.”
On stage at the CGI meeting on Tuesday, Clinton introduced three new partners who have committed to working with Job One, including the skin care company Dermalogica. As part of its Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship (FITE) campaign to create salon careers for women, the company is launching a program in New York City in which 10 women without college degrees will spend two years learning everything from licensing to skincare techniques. “We have this huge gap of unskilled workers that would be very successful and be able to take care of themselves and their families,” Natalie Byrne, director of global impact for Dermalogica, told Glamour. The program won’t just be in the U.S.: Currently, Dermalogica is also working with a salon in Cambodia to create a training program for women who are victims of sex trafficking, and additional programs are in the works for India and South Africa.
“Our consumers are 98 percent women, and we have, as a company, such an authentic reason to be in this space and really a responsibility to make sure that we are impacting a community in the same way that we are also successful,” said Byrne.
At the CGI meeting, Clinton said, “While talent is universal, you can find it anywhere and everywhere, opportunity is not.” Hopefully, with commitments from major companies like Dermalogica, that won’t be the case for long.