Prioritizing Economic and Workforce Development

Cities rely on a prepared, skilled, and homegrown workforce to attract business and develop a vibrant and sustainable local economy. While the precise size and nature of the “skills gap” is subject to debate, mayors, city councilmembers, and other municipal officials increasingly understand the importance of preparing young people for the changing global workforce. They recognize that employers report challenges finding workers with the skills they need. One way city leaders can address this challenge is by supporting high-quality afterschool and summer programs that expose young people to career options while also building the social and emotional skills to help them succeed in work and life. It is a win-win for cities, businesses, families, youth, and our nation – a strategy for addressing future workforce needs and supporting the current workforce by giving working parents the opportunity to focus at work and be productive employees, with the knowledge that their children are in a safe and supportive environment.