YOUTH EMPLOYMENT

A prerequisite to any successful economic revitalization of our targeted East Oakland community is the occupation and employment of unoccupied and unemployed youth in the community. We operate on the proven 80/20 Theory of Human Behavior which suggests that 8 out of 10 unemployed youth in our targeted East Oakland community will choose gainful employment over unemployment and unemployment related crime. We believe and operate on the premise that most of the crime and other antisocial behavior among youth in our low income urban East Oakland community is due to poverty driven conditions of hopelessness and despair.

Too many youth in our targeted community out of no choice have to turn to an underground economy centered on drug selling to earn money.  Year in and year out, political administrations in and political administrations out promise to fix the schools that are failing our children in low income communities.  Frankly, we do not see this ending soon, if ever.  Therefore our approach is to find a way to bridge our youth over this ever present devastating situation.

To this end, we are endeavoring to implement our Youth Employment Program with a unique Youth Employment Development component. Our plan is not dissimilar from the nationally known “Year Up” program. Research shows that there are some 1,600 unemployed youth in our targeted East Oakland community. At the same time research shows that Oakland has some 6,000 Black owned business which provides a unique opportunity for implementation of our Youth Employment Program. Oakland has the highest per capita Black business ownership among California’s top five cities with 100 or more Black owned businesses. A part of our youth employment program will be to database these businesses as shown on our website at www.brownpagesonline.com. Our plan is to implement our Youth Employment Program primarily through these Black owned businesses.  We plan extensive non-profit fundraising to provide each participating youth a living wage salary the day the youth enters into our Youth Employment Program.  Unemployed youth in our targeted community will either be “Workplace ready” or “Non-workplace ready”. We define work place ready as a high school diploma and without a hiring stopping criminal record.  On the other hand, we define a non-work place youth as one that has not finished high school and with a criminal record that would disallow employment.  Considering the well-publicized arrests of Black and Brown youth on marijuana charges we will work to disregard this and other non-violent unemployment driven youth crime and ask our participating Black owned business to work with us on this.

As an incentive for participating businesses and to accommodate the anticipated unique situations among youth in our targeted low income East Oakland community.  We have a plan for a “Salary Participation Arrangement” where our non-profit funds raised pay the full salary of participating youth working in participating businesses for up to 6 months.  This will allow for youth scheduling flexibility to take time off from work to attend GED courses, counseling and orientation sessions etc. In the third 90 day period we again through non-profit raised funds pay 50 to 75% of youth salary.  At the end of one year youth are all workplace ready and gainfully employed.  Again we note that the 80/20 of human behavior will be at work here and likely only 8 out of ten youth will successfully complete our Your Employment/Youth Employment Development Program and end up gainfully employed.  With a new group of unemployed and unemployable youth ensuing it is important that the current group of participating youth move on and up through our Youth Employment Program to make space for the next group.

 

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