The U.S. economy may officially be in “recovery,” but we still face the challenge of how to create American jobs. I congratulate the House of Representatives for responding to this challenge and recognizing the important role of public service jobs and national service programs as part of their broader job-creation strategy.
The House’s “Jobs for Main Street Act of 2010” takes an important step in moving America from a jobless recovery to a sustainable and prosperous one by including resources to support public service jobs and jobs through AmeriCorps, Public Lands Corps, Youth Conservation Corps, Student Conservation Association, and Job Corps.
CAP Action urges the Senate to build on these strong efforts by including YouthBuild in its job-creation package. The program has a track record of successfully engaging low-income youth in the labor market and ensuring that especially hard-hit communities have the opportunity to participate in the recovery.
Since the start of the Great Recession in December 2007, we have not seen net job growth in a single month. And there are increasing indications that even if the economy continues to grow it will happen too slowly to absorb the 16 million people out of work and searching for a job. The investments included in the House bill offer decent employment opportunities for America’s youth, and they will also help strengthen the capacity of nonprofit organizations to provide critical services to those in need.
As the Center for American Progress pointed out in a recent memo, young Americans face the greatest challenges finding work in today’s troubled job market. What’s more, young people who cannot find a job today will likely suffer consequences beyond the recession because their lack of work experience makes them less competitive for future jobs.
Targeted investment in these national service programs will create thousands of new jobs, help young Americans lay the foundation for their careers, and boost nonprofits’ ability to deliver key social services. I applaud the House for their leadership on this issue and urge the Senate to quickly follow suit.