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Opportunity Summit to Identify Solutions for Reconnecting Young Adults Who Are Not Working or in School

Opportunity Summit April 12

San Diego Workforce Partnership’s Imperative Call to Action: Cut the Rate and Halve the Gap of Youth Disconnection
More than 41,000 San Diegans 16-24 at higher risk for long-term unemployment and poverty

San Diego County CA— On April 12, the San Diego Workforce Partnership, an organization that empowers job seekers to meet the current and future workforce needs of employers, will host its second Opportunity Summit at the Town and Country Resort Hotel. The goal of this year’s summit is to better understand why more than 41,000 young people in San Diego County are not in school or working. The summit will identify solutions to prevent youth from disconnecting and support disconnected youth entering back into school, training or work.

According to new data released March 19 by Measure of America, nearly one in ten young adults in San Diego County are disconnected, putting them at a higher risk for long-term unemployment and poverty. The terms “disconnected” and “opportunity” youth refer to the missed social and economic opportunities when we fail to help young adults transition successfully from school to the workforce so they can become thriving members of the community. Youth disconnection leads to a significant loss in economic productivity and a high dependence on government and social service programs.

Focused on the theme “initiate,” this year’s summit will feature:

  • System leaders alongside youth impacted by their systems
  • District 4 county supervisor candidate forum to reveal their plans for better serving youth
  • National perspective from Maureen Conway, Vice President at the Aspen Institute, one of the nation’s foremost leaders in opportunity youth research and strategy
  • Youth art and performances
  • Premiere of 7-Second Résumé videos recorded by youth attendees and professionally produced on-site during the event

“We’ve assembled this particular group of San Diego leaders for Opportunity Summit because it’s our collective duty to figure out how to help these young people reach their potential,” said San Diego Workforce Partnership CEO Peter Callstrom. “Our efforts to reduce youth disconnection will make our region more talented and prosperous.”

The summit plans a deep dive into issues that contribute to the youth disconnection problem in San Diego County. Breakout sessions will include:

  • Ending the Silence on Youth Mental Health: a discussion on the intersection between mental health struggles and youth disconnection
  • New Laws, Cleaner Records and Criminal Justice Reform: a look at new laws impacting justice involved youth
  • Leveling the Playing Field: employers who are transforming hiring practices and job mentoring to allow youth employees to thrive

“Our goal by 2020 is to decrease the countywide youth disconnection rate from 9.7 percent last year to 7.3 percent by 2020,” said Callstrom. “At the same time, by focusing resources and attention on the communities and populations with the highest disconnection rates, we aim to halve the equity gaps and unleash opportunity for all youth in the region.”

If you’re interested in making an impact on San Diego opportunity youth, click here.