Corporate Voices was very successful in our efforts to ensure that disconnected youth were included in the economic stimulus bill that President Obama signed into law yesterday.

Here’s an overview from Donna Klein, the president and founder of Corporate Voices for Working Families.



I want to share with you the great news that Corporate Voices has been successful in our efforts to ensure that disconnected youth have been included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The stimulus bill, which President Obama signed into law Tuesday, February 17, includes the Disconnected Youth Employer Tax Credit (DYETC), a new credit for companies that hire disconnected young adults. In addition, it provides approximately $1.2 billion in new money for youth training and employment programs.  We are pleased that the Congress included both programmatic support and tax incentives so that this vulnerable population will have the training, support and opportunity to contribute to the nation’s economic recovery.

Corporate Voices for Working Families played a key role in ensuring that disconnected youth were included in the economic stimulus package. We know this population is among the hardest hit in an economic downturn. Based on our alternative pathways model, we recognized that the stimulus created an opportunity to leverage increased support for youth training and employment programs that are important to help prepare youth for career path employment, and tax incentives for employers to hire disconnected young adults.  Consequently, we executed a two-prong strategy to work towards both spending and tax policy.

We did this work in concert with several of our partner companies including Marriott International, TJX, CVS Caremark, and KPMG, and in coalition with strategic outreach partners including the Community Service Society of New York, Jobs for the Future, Year-Up and STRIVE.  As the leading business voice working on this issue, Corporate Voices was able to engage our partner companies to lend their support to the coalition’s efforts to advocate for both spending policy that expands youth training and employment programs and for complementary tax policy that will incent business to provide employment for disconnected young adults. 

In the coming weeks, we will be reaching out to Treasury officials so that we can provide our corporate partners with specific information and guidelines about how they can quickly use this tax credit to create job and career opportunities for disconnected youth.  At the same time, we will be reaching out to officials at the Department of Labor to let them know that we believe the new youth money should be targeted to successful model alternative pathway programs such as Year-Up and STRIVE, which both have demonstrated records of success preparing disconnected youth to embark on career path employment.

We applaud the Congress and President Obama for including disconnected youth in the stimulus bill.  

We believe that the two policies taken together  encourage employers to be full partners in providing career opportunities for disconnected youth, enabling them to take their place as productive members of the American workforce and participants in our economic recovery.