A new national organization aimed at giving a voice to 18 - 29 year olds, known as Millennials, has entered the national stage. One of the top priorities of the new group – Generation Opportunity – is addressing the underlying causes of youth unemployment.
“Young people today are optimistic, but the continued impacts of the stagnant economy – the lack of job opportunities, mounting debt, rising gas prices, and ineffective solutions from Washington – are hitting them hard. Young people are looking for immediate solutions and they are – justifiably – not willing to be patient,” said Paul T. Conway, former chief of staff of the U.S. Department of Labor and president of Generation Opportunity. “We’re here to ensure that young people’s voices are heard and respected as a big part of the solution.”
Generation Opportunity is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that seeks to engage everyone from young adults, early career professionals, college students, young mothers and fathers, construction workers, current service men and women, veterans, entrepreneurs and all Americans who find themselves dissatisfied with the status quo and willing to create a better tomorrow.
Generation Opportunity announced its first communications platform – “Being American,” a Facebook page that has already amassed a fan base of over 630,000. The page posts links to relevant articles and reports from sources ranging from the federal General Accountability Office (GAO), The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Brookings Institution, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, and The Heritage Foundation.
Generation Opportunity commissioned a poll with the polling company, inc./WomanTrend (April 16 – 22, 2011, +/- 4% margin of error) and highlights some of the results below. Kellyanne Conway, president and CEO of the firm, characterized the findings as “unique and eye-opening, revealing a concerned but engaged generation of political free agents. They are looking for solutions and specifics from leaders they feel do not always understand or listen to them. The economy is impacting their lives in a pretty direct way; student loan debt is a guarantee; a job, not so much.”
BY THE NUMBERS:
- 77% either have or will delay a major life change or purchase due to economic factors (44% delay buying a home, 28% delay saving for retirement, 27% delay paying off student loans or other debt. 27% delay going back to school/getting more education or training; 26% delay changing jobs/cities. 23% delay starting a family; 18% say delay getting married)
- 76% would like to see federal spending reduced
- 69% said the federal government, not others, should make sacrifices right now
- 69% say the current leadership in Washington fails to serve the younger generation
- 31% of 18 - 29 year olds approve of the President’s handling of youth unemployment
- 52% are satisfied with their current level of employment.
Paul Conway added, “Young people have a long history of involvement in the democratic process – and we expect that will continue to grow. This is just the beginning of an aggressive effort to organize on the principles and issues that impact their futures.”