Press Release: City of Saint Paul Receives Grant from the National League of Cities to Promote Equitable Career Opportunities for Youth
24 Jan 2022
The City of Saint Paul is proud to join a new initiative led by the National League of Cities (NLC) to make true economic opportunity a reality for youth and young adults who are marginalized from quality education and career opportunities. Saint Paul joins five other cities from across the nation receiving grants of $150,000, along with specialized assistance from NLC’s staff and other national experts to advance the city’s efforts to expand STEM career pathways for marginalized young people.
“Early investments in our youth pave the way toward a brighter future for all of us,” said Mayor Carter. “This partnership with NLC will help us encourage and inspire the next generation of leaders in Saint Paul.”
Through this initiative the City hopes to:
• Develop partnerships and implement strategies that improve access to quality postsecondary education and career pathway opportunities that lead to higher wage jobs.
• Focus on job quality improvement strategies.
• Integrate the critical perspectives and voice of marginalized youth and young adults in our work.
Marginalized youth and young adults are disproportionately represented among industries hardest hit by the pandemic, such as healthcare, hospitality, service, childcare, and agriculture. These young people, who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC), are low income, or are disconnected from school and/or the workforce have limited access to quality educational and career experiences. Students graduating from high school in 2020 and 2021 face particularly unique and long-term risks. Since the Great Recession, nearly 95 percent of all new jobs have gone to workers with at least some college education; yet, as a result of the pandemic, the likelihood of youth pursuing a four-year degree decreased 23 percent between May 2020 and September 2021 – down to 48 percent from 71 percent.
“Educational attainment is directly linked to a city’s economic vitality and well-being, and there is a great opportunity for municipal leaders to help youth link their education to meaningful careers,” said Dr. Robert Blaine, Senior Executive and Director, Institute for Youth, Education and Families. “The National League of Cities is proud to work with the City of Saint Paul to develop new career opportunities and supports for marginalized young people in Saint Paul.”
This collaborative effort includes partners from throughout the region Minnesota Technology Association, Ramsey County Workforce Investment Board, Ramsey County Workforce Solutions, Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, Saint Paul College, Saint Paul Public Schools, Sprockets, and Youthprise.
The Youth Excel initiative runs from January 2022 through June 2023 and is generously supported by the Siemens Foundation. You can learn more at: https://www.nlc.org/initiative/youth-excel.