A New Program Helps Businesses Engage the Next Generation of Talent

Cross posted to RockefellerFoundation.org

Last week, The Rockefeller Foundation was pleased to co-host an event with the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) to announce the 2015 Business Ambassadors for The Next Generation of Talent. The Foundation and SBS, in collaboration with the Economist Intelligence Unit, brought together leaders from a group of eight small businesses that will spend the next year working to educate their peers—in New York City and around the country—about the value they have seen from hiring young workers.

We were honored to be joined at the event by SBS Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer, who spoke to the substantive value that these small businesses and others like them add to the fabric of New York City’s economy. We also heard from businesses—like Sharp Decisions, a New York-based IT consultancy that is investing in returning veterans, many of whom are entering the civilian labor market for the first time—and from young workers themselves. Josiah Morales, a web developer at Blankslate, spoke about his experience landing a good job with the company, while his boss Ning Zhou, a co-founder of Blankslate talked about the energy, enthusiasm, and overall value that Josiah brings to the firm.

We believe that harnessing the energy, creativity, and potential of young people is critical to creating more inclusive economies that expand opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity. Youth unemployment has been a persistent and growing problem both in the U.S. and around the world for decades—New York City is certainly no exception. Approximately 172,000 young New Yorkers are neither working nor enrolled in school.

Philanthropy can play a unique role in supporting young workers, and in shaping economic outcomes that lead to more jobs and work opportunities. Through partnerships with employers, institutions, and local government, philanthropy can seed innovation and support change that other actors deem too risky. And we believe that in order for businesses to realize their full potential, they must integrate and leverage the talent of younger workers.

The Rockefeller Foundation is committed to supporting employer-focused interventions that expand and identify employment opportunities for young people in ways that recognize how they can contribute to a business’ success. The gathering in New York City last week is just one of the ways that we are working with employers to identify business practices that benefit younger workers, as well as the company’s bottom line.

We need to engage the next generation of talent and connect them to meaningful jobs with real career pathways. At the same time, we also want to see business growth across sectors. Together, our job is to ensure these two things happen in tandem—if not, we lose a chance to harness the power of economic development to help ensure the economic future of today’s youth.

Does the World Cup Get the Economic Ball Rolling?

Some back of the envelope calculations from a couple years back…

Past experience, however, shows that hosting the World Cup may not be the economic Holy Grail organizers often predict — at least not immediately. The historic experiences of past hosts show that countries are about as likely to see lower economic growth in the World Cup year as they are to see higher growth. In the years immediately following the World Cup, however, the economies of host countries have performed better on average.

via Does the World Cup Get the Economic Ball Rolling? | Center for American Progress.

View the full report with images: Does the World Cup Get the Economic Ball Rolling? (PDF)

Introductory remarks for “The Path to Full Employment: Making Jobs a National Priority”

As prepared for delivery; National Press Club; Washington DC, April 2, 2014


I would like to thank Jared Bernstein and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities for putting together today’s event. The Center’s voice on these issues is vital to the public and policy discourse. There are few like it.

Rockefeller’s mission has remained the same for the past 101 years: to promote the well being of humanity around the world. In this century we do this by building Resilience, both to acute shocks and to chronic stresses; and by advancing Inclusive Economies that expand opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity.

The topic of today’s discussion – full employment – is essential to the advancement of inclusive economies. Without full employment too many face an upward struggle to get by and to get ahead. Without full employment those at the back of the employment line will stay there. That’s why the discussion is so important.

Let me say a couple words about Philanthropy. There has been much attention laced on the supply-side of the equation: education reform, skill development and training, credentialing, etc. This is valuable and needed. But people also need a job at the end of the day, so we also need to pay attention on the demand side, and to do what we can to foster job creation and full employment. That is why the Rockefeller Foundation is pleased to support this effort.

Again, that you to Jared and the Center on Budget for putting this event together.

Private Sector Engagement: The Key to Tackling Unemployment in the U.S. : The Rockefeller Foundation

In his State of the Union Address this week, President Obama called on businesses to stop discriminating against job applicants who have been out of work for extended periods of time. More than 300 major companies including Walmart, Apple, General Motors, and Ford have already signed a pledge committing to hiring more long-term unemployed Americans. Today, the White House hosted a range of business leaders to examine best-practices for hiring and recruiting, with an eye toward putting the long-term unemployed back to work.

The President’s effort takes a critical step toward tackling long-term unemployment in the United States by engaging employers, who have an important role and responsibility in bringing Americans back into the workforce. We at The Rockefeller Foundation hope this private sector momentum will expand to address an issue that poses an equally daunting threat to the nation’s economic recovery and our economic well-being for generations to come — youth unemployment.

More via Private Sector Engagement: The Key to Tackling Unemployment in the U.S. : The Rockefeller Foundation.

Economic News and Data Roundup

Noted for Friday, November 1, 2013

  • Get your data fix: US National Economic Trends, and International Economic Trends.
  • Nobel Prize in Economics for research on financial markets.  “Eugene F. Fama, Robert J. Shiller and Lars Peter Hansen shared the 2013 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for at times conflicting research on how financial markets work and assets such as stocks are priced.”
  • The World Bank’s 2014 Development report looks at Risk and Opportunity. From the Forward: “This report calls for individuals and institutions to move from being “crisis fighters” to becoming “proactive and systematic risk managers.” There is substantial evidence that recognizing and preparing for risk can pay off abundantly. For instance, many developing countries displayed resilience in the face of the recent global financial crisis because they had previously reformed their macroeconomic, financial, and social policies.”
  • Goldman Sachs: US labor market will return to “normal” in 2017Q1. In a research note (unpublished) by GS, researchers looked at the current pace of improvement: “We find that at the recent rate of improvement, the Fed authors’ measure of labor market activity would return to the pre-crisis average in 2017Q1. This date is somewhat later than the point at which the unemployment gap would close if its recent trend were to continue, consistent with the idea that the unemployment rate understates total labor market slack.”
  • Cost of US government shutdown: $24 billion. Estimates suggest that the 16 day partial shutdown of the U.S. government will reduce GDP growth by about 1/2 in the fourth quarter of the year.
  • Janet Yellen nominated to be Fed Chair. From a full profile of Yellen in the NY Times: “She has expressed greater concern about the economic consequences of unemployment, a stronger conviction in the Fed’s ability to stimulate job growth and a greater willingness to tolerate a little more inflation in order to reduce unemployment more quickly. … Ms. Yellen is also a more assertive leader than Mr. Bernanke and appears less averse to conflict. While both encourage open debate and seek to make decisions by consensus, Ms. Yellen has been a more vocal and persistent advocate for her own views.”
  • Better drink up, global shortage of wine ahead. Morgan Stanley research suggests there is a global undersupply of nearly 300 million cases a year.

Remarks re: All-In Nation Poll

All-In Nation | Poll to be released today. Press call remarks (from yesterday):

Talking Points:
“Building An All-In Nation: A View From The American Public”
Center for American Progress, October 18, 2013
(As prepared for delivery)

Thank you Vanessa. I would like to also thank the Center for American Progress for spearheading this call today.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission since 1913 has been to promote the well-being of humanity around the world. As we enter our second century, the foundation has adopted two over-arching objectives to achieve this vision: first, to expand opportunity for more people in more places through more equitable growth; and, second, to build resilience by helping people prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute crises and chronic stresses.

The Foundation’s strategy to accomplish these goals is by using innovation, influence and intervention to achieve positive impact. We feel that it is important to foster programs and interventions that are driven to advance economic and social equity, further opportunity for all, and promote innovation.

As we all know, the United States, throughout its history, has been is a nation of constant change. And this is reflected today in the growing racial and ethnic diversity of our population.

With our growing diversity comes a great deal of opportunity if we harness it effectively. However, we are already seeing the challenges that stem from growing inequities. From growing income and wealth inequality, to greater political polarization, to a dangerous acceptance of high rates of unemployment, especially in certain communities and for younger Americans in particular. The Rockefeller Foundation is currently in the early stages of exploring solutions to the youth employment challenge.

But the poll that is being releasing today, gives us much to be optimistic about, while still identifying places for improvement. I will let the teams from Latino Decisions, the Center for American Progress, and PolicyLink take you through the details and interpretation. But we at the Foundation are heartened by findings that suggest that the majority of Americans see incredible opportunity as a result of our country’s rising diversity, especially in terms of increasing economic growth and spurring more innovative and competitive businesses.

The Rockefeller Foundation was proud to support this important survey – one of the largest of its kind — to explore the country’s views on our growing diversity. We hope that this sparks increased conversation on the subject, and ultimately increases action on both the local and national policy level to ensure that growing diversity equals growing opportunity as well.

With that, I will turn things back over to Vanessa. Thank you.

Long-Term Unemployed Still Struggle in Post-Recession Economy : The Rockefeller Foundation

The United States economy is in the midst of a slow and uneven recovery in the wake of the Great Recession — corporate profits have rebounded, stock prices are up, yet the livelihoods of millions of American workers remain in jeopardy. Of the nation’s 11.3 million unemployed, more than one-third have been out of work for six months or longer. Millions more, unable to secure full-time positions, have settled for part-time work. Younger workers, seeking to make critical early labor market connections, face an unemployment rate more than double the national average. The Rockefeller Foundation believes that philanthropy has an important role to play in addressing these challenges.

Read more at Long-Term Unemployed Still Struggle in Post-Recession Economy : The Rockefeller Foundation.