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Millennial Group Gathers In Houston To Discuss Generation’s Workforce Challenges

They would like that the City of Houston expanded its summer jobs programs.

The millennial group Young Invincibles held a summit in Houston this past weekend to analyze the challenges their generation faces in terms of entering the workforce.
The millennial group Young Invincibles held a summit in Houston this past weekend to analyze the challenges their generation faces in terms of entering the workforce.

The millennial group Young Invincibles held a summit in Houston this past weekend to analyze the challenges their generation faces in terms of entering the workforce.

Maggie Buchanan, the group’s Southern regional director, says their goals are making it easier for youth to acquire basic job skills and to educate themselves about college and career opportunities, but there is more.

“Also, focusing on something we call the experience paradox. The fact that a lot of times, even for entry-level jobs, not only will an employer expect a degree, but they’ll also expect some type of substantive work experience,” Buchanan explains.

One way Young Invincibles thinks that experience paradox can be overcome locally is by expanding summer jobs programs like the ones backed by the City of Houston, which provide jobs and internships both with the local government, as well as in the private sector and non-profit groups.

“That is the hope and aspiration, that we’ll be able to develop a program that will provide youth with the opportunity to be able to work throughout the year. The mayor’s goal for the following year is to hope that we can at least [provide] 5,000 jobs,” notes Juliet Stipeche, Director of the recently created Office of Education for the City of Houston.

One of the statistics Young Invincibles cites as concerning is that, according to a study released in 2015 by the Social Science Research Council, 19 percent of Houston African-American residents between 16 and 24 years of age are both out school and unemployed.

Also in Houston, more than 15 percent of Hispanics are in that same situation, while 11 percent of Anglos experience the same situation.

In September, Young Invincibles plans to release a report based on a series of round tables they held last year.

“There was a really strong desire to work and ambition,” Buchanan explained about the information gathered in those round tables “but there is also a lot of concern about how to address some of the barriers these young people saw of getting and keeping a job.”

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Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Digital News Producer

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz is originally from Madrid (Spain). He worked for several years in his home country and gained experience in all platforms of journalism, from wire services to print, as well as broadcast and digital reporting. In 2001, Al came to the United States to pursue a Master’s degree...

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