Vice President Biden: Business and Federal Community Engagement Key to Development of Youth Workforce

October 6, 2014

Vice President Biden: Business and Federal Community Engagement Key to Development of Youth Workforce

New and Expanding Partners Recognized for Commitment to Preparing Young People for the Workforce

Click to WATCH VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS of VP Biden’s Keynote Speech

(Washington, DC)  — On Friday, Vice President Joe Biden addressed the need for greater investment in pathways for success for the nation’s youth at the “Youth Employment Matters! High Quality Solutions & the Role of Corporate Engagement” event hosted by Urban Alliance and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

The Vice President stated, “The kind of partnerships that Urban Alliance builds are the kind we need all across the country between businesses, unions, non-profits and education systems…Every single one of [the Urban Alliance] interns learns skills that are going to last them a lifetime; how to work well with others, how to pay attention to detail, how to communicate in a professional environment. They’re being exposed to people in fields who show them how to pursue the future they once thought was out of reach.”

“At Urban Alliance, we foster youth workforce development through a high-quality, comprehensive model that engages our business community to help build a prepared and competitive next generation of workers,” said Eshauna Smith, Chief Executive Officer at the Urban Alliance, who adds that business partnerships are integral to ensure underserved youth are prepared to contribute to the workforce and the economy. “It is vital that we partner and create a plan – together with other groups in this space – that leverages the discussion from this event and keeps this issue at the forefront of our business and nonprofit communities.”

“The economic and competitive future of this country will be determined by how we respond to the growing trend of youth unemployment,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue. “By connecting high school students with corporate partners before they have a chance to disconnect, the Urban Alliance model improves the education and job prospects of our nation’s youth. The business community is highly engaged and deeply invested in solving youth unemployment and its underlying causes because young people who are given the tools and the opportunity to participate in our economy are also productive members of society.”

New and expanding partners were recognized at today’s event. These include:

  • Building on the successful foundation created by the US Office of Personnel Management, The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will soon collaborate with Urban Alliance by hosting 20 year-round interns beginning later this year. With this partnership, Urban Alliance interns will witness first-hand how an infectious curiosity to experiment, and the power of intellectual property, can transform industries overnight. Through the power of mentorship by USPTO staff they’ll witness first hand that when you build on ideas–tinker with them, grow them through trial and error, and protect them–we’re able to reshape the world around us. The partnership builds on a storied track record of the USPTO investing in STEM education in school districts around the country, but this alliance will empower students to understand that they too have the power to create and innovate.
  • In 2013, Urban Alliance teamed with Northern Trust to place two interns in the Chicago office. Both young women developed vital administrative skills, learned how to communicate professionally and seamlessly integrated into Northern Trust’s culture. After such a great experience, Northern Trust asked Urban Alliance to help run an existing internship program with Chicago Public Schools. This partnership will allow 16 Urban Alliance interns to work at Northern Trust next year. Northern Trust will become the largest Urban Alliance job partner in Chicago.
  • Bank of America remains committed to making sure there are opportunities for the next generation in the workplace.  In the US, Bank of America employs approximately 15,000 young people ages 18-24 in a variety of positions through hiring channels such as campus and military recruiting as well as local Human Resource efforts. In order to make sure there is a growing pipeline of opportunity, Bank of America is pleased to announce its commitment to Urban Alliance in supporting at least 40 interns each year, for the next three years.  In total, Bank of America will support 5,000 young people over the next three years connecting them to internships, apprenticeships and summer jobs through partners such as Urban Alliance, Year Up and the US Conference of Mayors.


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To view the reports distributed at the event, click on the links below.

Youth Employment Matters! Strengthening the Youth-To-Work Pipeline Through High Quality Youth Employment Opportunities

To view the C-SPAN video coverage of the event, click on the links below.