MIAMI, FL (October 30, 2019) – The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative and JobLaunch.org—in partnership with major national and local employers, as well as Miami-Dade County civic leaders and a vast coalition of local youth empowerment nonprofits—are working to help thousands of Miami youth move one step closer to meaningful employment through the Miami Youth Hiring Days initiative. Supported by the Schultz Family Foundation, Miami Youth Hiring Days, including its virtual job fair and “pop-up” hiring events, offer employers new tools to find and hire motivated, untapped young talent, while helping more young people overcome the barriers that stand in the way of launching their careers.
Despite a record-low national unemployment rate of 3.5%, there are 4.5 million Opportunity Youth in America—young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are out of school or unemployed—and more than 72,000 Opportunity Youth in the greater Miami area, according to Measure of America. Young men, youth of color and youth with disabilities are more likely to be disconnected. A competitive labor market—combined with the need to hire workers for the coming holiday season—has employers looking to Opportunity Youth as an important pipeline for talent.
“Companies recognize the value young people bring to the workplace, but they need support to recruit and retain youth in today’s tight labor market,” said Daniel Pitasky, executive director of the Schultz Family Foundation. “We are excited about the impact innovative efforts like the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative’s Miami Youth Hiring Days are having to build effective workforce pathways for young people.”
These events build on two previous National Youth Hiring Days, with the most recent event in May reaching nearly eight million and mobilizing over 150,000 youth to take action in pursuit of their next job opportunity. Last week, as part of the Miami Youth Hiring Days online job fair, several thousand Miami youth logged on to connect with and open 1:1 conversations with participating employers. Today, at least 1,000 young people are expected to be on hand at the “pop-up” job fair being hosted in the Wynwood Art District with leading employers, nonprofits that help youth further their careers or education, food trucks, music and a live art installation. The goal of both events is to bring young people and employers together in a new way—providing a blueprint for future events.
Miami Youth Hiring Days includes the following events and resources:
- Online Job Fair – On October 23, in partnership with vFairs, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative and JobLaunch staged their first-ever 1:1, real-time virtual job fair in Miami. The online event mimicked the best features of an in-person job fair, while making participation even easier for youth most in need of career support. Every young person who logged on during the event was guaranteed an opportunity to engage directly with participating recruiters, learn more about the benefits they provide, receive career guidance, apply for open entry-level positions and much more.
- Hiring “Pop-Up” – Today, in the Wynwood Arts District in Miami, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, JobLaunch, and participating employers are hosting a new type of in-person career opportunity event to help update the job fair of the past for today’s youth. It includes food, fun and opportunities for young people to connect with leading companies—some of whom will make hires on the spot! To help remove barriers that could prevent young people from participating, Miami-Dade County is running one-way and hourly shuttle buses to the event from four different regions and six locations across the County, including Miami Gardens, Liberty City, Little Haiti, Overtown, Naranja and Florida City.
In attendance are leading national and local Miami-based employers (Five Guys, Florida International University, Macy’s, Miami-Dade County, Nordstrom, SIXT rent a car, Starbucks, T-Mobile, The Doral Yard and The U.S. Census Bureau) which collectively have more than 5,000 open, mostly entry-level positions they’re looking to fill now; youth empowerment nonprofits and civic institutions (Educate Tomorrow, Year Up South Florida, Miami Dade College, Talent Development Network, AMI Kids and South Florida Cares Mentoring Movement), renowned Miami-based artists, including muralist Rey Jaffet and DJ Mauricio Parra; food trucks, including Worldwide Bistro and Empowered Youth's "Vibe 305," which helps at-risk young men connect to careers in the culinary and hospitality industries; as well as motivated youth from all over Miami.
- Online Job Tools & 1:1 SMS Support – At JobLaunch.org, powered by Get Schooled, young people have access to an array of tools that help them apply, get hired, be successful on the job and plan for their careers. Youth can text JOB to 33-55-77 to get 1:1 career coaching via SMS.
“Connecting young adults to employment opportunities and workforce skills training is a critical priority for Miami-Dade County,” said Mayor Carlos A. Giménez. “In collaboration with 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, Schultz Family Foundation and corporate and community partners, we can help ensure that all young people in our community have the support they need to reach their potential.”
Over the past four years, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative has taken purposeful action to develop a coalition of leading employers committed to hiring and retaining Opportunity Youth, helped connect them to best-in-class youth empowerment nonprofits and become a hub for sharing emerging employment best practices. In its current chapter, the initiative has become a youth hiring innovation engine—pioneering new digital and place-based strategies that help employers connect with motivated youth and help in-need young people overcome hurdles that prevent them from getting hired.
“Miami Youth Hiring Days is an exciting new online-and-offline remix of the age-old job fair, specifically designed to deliver meaningful outcomes for both employers and youth,” said Jason Rzepka, employer liaison for the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative. “There are employers in Miami with thousands of positions they need to fill now and thousands of motivated, talented young people who are ready to work; we feel a moral and economic responsibility to help bridge that divide. We’re humbled to be joined by scores of sterling companies, nonprofits, institutions of higher learning, civic leaders and artists who share our vision and urgency.”
About 100,000 Opportunities Initiative
The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative™ has built the nation’s largest employer-led private sector coalition committed to creating pathways to employment for young people. Coalition companies help launch careers for young people who are just entering the workforce, including full- and part-time work, as well as internships, apprenticeships and on-the-job training. These companies are committed to developing potential in youth who are looking to gain skills that lead to successful careers. Visit 100kOpportunities.org for more information.
About Schultz Family Foundation
The Schultz Family Foundation, established in 1996 by Sheri and Howard Schultz, aims to unlock America’s potential, one individual and one community at a time. The Foundation believes that one’s potential should not be determined by their zip code and that this generation of young people represent assets that can have a significant impact on the future of our country. By investing in innovative, scalable solutions and partnerships, the Foundation works to close the growing opportunity gap for the 4.5 million youth and young adults aged between 16 and 24 who are out of school and seeking work. Through its Opportunity Youth Initiative, the Foundation invests in clear pathways to employment and innovative initiatives in areas such as mentorship, job readiness, and community connections. Visit SchultzFamilyFoundation.org for more information.
JobLaunch is an initiative started by Get Schooled and the Schultz Family Foundation to help Opportunity Youth start down a path of success and self-sufficiency through employment and a solid online support network. The JobLaunch.org digital platform provides motivated young talent with tips and resources, employment opportunities, one-on-one career coaching through a dedicated textline and more. Visit JobLaunch.org for more information.