12.20.19

Senators Perdue, Smith Lead Bipartisan Action To Support Youth Development

“It is important that we invest in the future of America’s workforce.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators David Perdue (R-GA) and Tina Smith (D-MN) are taking bipartisan action to provide greater professional development opportunities for children across the country. The Youth Workforce Readiness Act of 2019 will support out-of-school programs that are dedicated to helping youth achieve their full potential and prepare for the 21st century workforce.

“Currently, there are 7.3 million job openings and only 5.8 million people looking for work,” said Senator Perdue. “It is important that we invest in the future of America’s workforce by giving children the skills they need to succeed. This bipartisan effort with the Boys & Girls Club and other youth organizations will support the development of out-of-school programs that are focused on preparing our youth to pursue the career of their choice. I’m proud Boys & Girls Clubs of America calls Georgia home, and I share their commitment to helping kids and teens reach their full potential.” 

"When I listen to young people, I hear that they are interested in contributing to their communities and obtaining good jobs in the future," said Senator Smith. "And what I hear from employers is that they need help getting connected to great employees with the skills to succeed.  After-school and out-of-school time providers are ideally positioned to help empower young people with the skills they need and make connections to local employers, all of which will help support youth success for years to come and further develop our workforce."

"We can see what the future looks like by how we set up our kids and teens for success today. But to solve these challenges as a nation, we must start by investing in young people early. The Youth Workforce Readiness Act recognizes the time kids spend after-school and during the summer, to develop these skills, as critical for ensuring equity for all young people," said Jim Clark, president and CEO at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "We are grateful for the leadership of Senators Smith and Perdue to address the needs of our country and future generations to ensure economic prosperity.  By supporting out-of-school time youth development organizations, we can close the opportunity gap that exists for so many kids and teens today." 

“The number one thing we hear from our Teen Club members throughout Georgia is their desire for workforce-based programming that can give them the skills and experiences needed to succeed in their career,” said Missy Dugan, CEO Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. “Programs like ours help young people develop and practice necessary skills that will propel them into their future. We are thankful for the leadership of Sen. Perdue for his constant support of successful futures not just for today’s kids but tomorrow’s as well.”

In addition to Perdue and Smith, The Youth Workforce Readiness Act of 2019 is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

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When Senator Perdue was elected, he was the only Fortune 500 CEO in Congress. He is serving his first term in the United States Senate, where he represents Georgia on the Armed Services, Banking, Budget, and Agriculture Committees.