OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Hundreds of youth joined California Labor Secretary, Julie A. Su, LeadersUp, and The California Endowment on October 17 for a virtual summit focused on creating opportunities that ensure a pathway to aid young people as a key part of the state’s economic recovery efforts due to COVID-19. The summit discussed job creation, educational attainment, and workforce development on the path to a high road economic recovery. 

An overwhelming number of youth of color have been heavily burdened by the pandemic, with many struggling to support themselves and their families. According to a survey of 551 young adults, commissioned by LeadersUp, 30% of respondents have been laid off. Another 23%, that are still employed, are uncertain about the future of their jobs and fear being laid off. Many are on the frontlines in industries experiencing the slowest economic rebound and have limited access to remote work opportunities.

“Our forward-looking strategy for economic recovery must prioritize the needs of our youth. The stakes could not be higher given that research indicates young people coming of age during times of high unemployment experience lower earnings, lower levels of retirement savings, less security over time, and higher rates of mortality. The picture becomes much more grim for our disadvantaged youth and youth of color who have been disproportionately impacted during this pandemic,” said Julie A. Su, secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development.

“Our young people make up a large part of the workforce who were either laid off or let go during the pandemic. We need to ensure their voices and contributions are taken into consideration  as we move forward with economic recovery efforts. This summit provided California youth an opportunity to share their personal stories and their struggles during this unprecedented time,” said Robert K. Ross, MD, president and CEO of The California Endowment.

“At LeadersUp, we work to fuel the power and potential of young people to drive action and change — for themselves, their families, and their communities. Through this listening session with Labor Secretary Su, we were able to elevate and amplify their voices to drive a more inclusive and equitable California economy where everyone thrives,” Jeffery Wallace, president and CEO of LeadersUp.

The summit aimed to create a pathway towards an inclusive, just, and competitive economy through the LeadersUp Evolve Employer Network, a coalition of influential private sector leaders committed to creating an antiracist, inclusive economy for at-risk young adults of color. By providing youth a seat at the table with direct access to community leaders and public officials, employers and the local community can forge a path forward towards a more inclusive and equitable economy.

To access the replay to the virtual summit, please visit: https://www.leadersup.org/post/how-your-voice-can-shape-the-future-economy .

About The California Endowment

The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, The Endowment has regional offices in Sacramento, Oakland, Fresno and San Diego, with program staff working throughout the state. The Endowment challenges the conventional wisdom that medical settings and individual choices are solely responsible for people’s health. The Endowment believes that health happens in neighborhoods, schools, and with prevention. For more information, visit The Endowment’s website at www.calendow.org.

About LeadersUp

LeadersUp is a talent development accelerator and social enterprise that was founded to tackle high youth unemployment in America. Since 2013, the nonprofit has stood in the gap to bridge the divide between the untapped potential of at-risk young adults of color and the business challenge of finding and keeping the best talent. LeadersUp recognizes the barriers in place for diverse young adults who are the most adversely impacted by distress in the labor market, particularly during COVID-19. Through their advocacy and professional development tools, employers can transform their diversity, equity and inclusion strategies into highly inclusive business practices. For more information about LeadersUp, visit www.leadersup.org.

Contact:
Karen Lewis
(323) 424-9400
[email protected]

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