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'We Are Golf' Goes To White House to Announce 2012 Summer Jobs Commitment For America's Youth
A group called "We Are Golf " has helped spearhead the White House's announcement of Summer Jobs+, a new call to action for businesses, non-profits, and government to work together to provide pathways to employment for America's youth in the summer of 2012.
Top executives from the PGA of America, the Club Managers Association of America, the National Golf Course Owners Association, and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America joined Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and other senior Administration officials in a commitment to do all they can to strengthen the economy and make sure America's young people have the opportunity to earn the skills and a work ethic that come with a job.
In addition to making commitments for the summer of 2012, We Are Golf was honored by the Department of Labor for its strong participation in the Administration's 2011 summer jobs initiative.
A conservative estimate of We Are Golf's commitment to the 2012 summer jobs effort shows the coalition's members plan to fill tens of thousands of jobs this summer. In response to the White House call to action, for example, the GCSAA announced an average increase in maintenance department hiring this coming summer from 7.0 jobs per course to 7.2, meaning total maintenance department jobs open to youth will increase from 104,300 in 2011 to 107,280 in 2012. Nearly three-quarters of PGA of America-staffed courses report they will also be hiring this summer, filling on average 14.6 summer positions, for an estimated total of more than 110,000.
"This was a challenge we were happy to take on," said World Golf Foundation CEO and We Are Golf Board Member Steve Mona. "The young people for whom we create summer jobs today become the golf industry leaders of tomorrow. One of the most rewarding aspects of our industry is the opportunity to improve the lives of the teenagers and young adults who choose to work for us - to help provide the work and life skills that will make them and their future employers more prosperous down the road. I want to thank golf's leading associations for joining this important call to action."
Like We Are Golf, other businesses and non-profits can accept the President's call-to-action by directly hiring youth as well as providing corporate mentorship experiences, internship, and other opportunities that connect young people to jobs. The three key ways organizations can engage are:
• Learn and Earn: Provide youth jobs for the summer of 2012 in the form of paid internships and/or permanent positions that provide on-the-job training. Of the roughly 180,000 job commitments announced today more than 70,000 are Learn and Earn commitments.
• Life Skills: Provide youth work-related soft skills, such as communication, time management and teamwork, through coursework and/or experience. This includes resume writing or interview workshops and mentorship programs.
• Work Skills: Provide youth insight into the world of work to prepare for employment. This includes job shadow days and internships. More information about this initiative can be found at www.dol.gov/summerjobs.
As the nation continues to recover from the deepest recession since the Great Depression, American youth are struggling to get the work experience they need for jobs of the future. According to the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (Current Population Survey):
• 48.8 percent of youth between the ages of 16-24 were employed in July, the month when youth employment usually peaks. This is significantly lower than the 59.2 percent of youth who were employed five years ago and 63.3 percent of youth who were employed 10 years ago.
• Minority youth had an especially difficult time finding employment this past summer. Only 34.6 percent of African American youth and 42.9 percent of Hispanic youth had a job this past July.
About We Are Golf
Led by the Club Managers Association of America, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the National Golf Course Owners Association, the PGA of America and the World Golf Foundation, We Are Golf is a coalition formed to tell the story of golf. Not just the game, but the stories of the hardworking men and women who make it the greatest sport in the world and whose livelihoods depend on it. It is these accounts that affirm the continued health and growth of the golf industry is vital to thousands of communities across the country and instrumental in enhancing the lives of millions of Americans. By showcasing golf's diverse businesses and their employees, the tax revenues it creates, the tourism it spawns, the charity it generates, and the environmental benefits it provides, We Are Golf is leveling the playing field for the thousands of small businesses that make up the industry and depend on the sport for their success.
For more information, visit www.WeAreGolf.org.