Economic Development

Innovating to Strengthen Youth Employment

Share this post:

Across the U.S. and around the world, the staggering problem of youth unemployment can be difficult to judge accurately because many young people have yet to enter the workforce. What we do know is that unemployment among the young is greater than 50 percent in countries such as Greece and Spain, and perhaps greater than 30 percent in some cities and states in the U.S.


In my recent article “Innovating to Strengthen Youth Employment” (Innovations, MIT Press, October 2013), I examine the following factors to shed some light on the causes of youth unemployment and how communities, educators and employers can address them:

  • What are the roots of youth unemployment, and why is it that increased high school graduation rates have not translated into greater employment and earnings?
  • Where are the jobs, and what types and levels of training are (and will be) required for young people to participate in the 21st century economy?
  • How can we drive innovation across an educational system that hasn’t evolved significantly since the Second World War?
  • What are the pathways to prosperity that can clarify and streamline the next generation’s journey from high school to college and career?
  • Where should we begin to ensure that proven programs for success are properly funded and made available to all?

The answers may surprise you. But even more encouraging is the fact that addressing and overcoming these challenges is well within our reach. If we allocate the proper resources and make strategic use of programs already in place, we will realize significant and quantifiable benefits.

Related Resources:

DOWNLOAD: Innovating to Strengthen Youth Employment

IBM SmartCloud Helps New York State Connect Education to Jobs

Reinventing High School to Connect Education to Jobs

Vice President, IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President, IBM International Foundation

More stories

Building Resilience for the Global Community

IBM’s commitment to resilient communities takes many forms, including direct action in response to natural disasters, developing medical and social services solutions in times of political upheaval, and the regular contributions of time and financial and physical resources by IBMers. We contribute tens of thousands of hours of volunteer service each year through IBM Volunteers. […]

Continue reading

“Ever Upward” for Excelsior Academy’s First Graduates

Excelsior – the motto of New York State – means “ever upward,” and signifies New Yorkers’ desire to achieve. I can think of no better name for our P-TECH school within Newburgh Free Academy than “Excelsior Academy” – the school I lead, in partnership with IBM and the Orange County Community College (SUNY Orange). Excelsior Academy is a […]

Continue reading

Norwalk Early College Academy Mints Its First Graduates

After just four years, Norwalk Early College Academy (NECA) is proud to honor the first graduates of our “six-year” P-TECH program. Our partnership with Norwalk Community College and IBM enable us to provide rigorous high school and college coursework leading to a no-cost associate degree in software engineering, web development or mobile programming, and the […]

Continue reading