For the 4 million unemployed youth in America looking for work, the solution may be a service corps, said Walter Isaacson.
The CEO of the Aspen Institute, an international nonprofit committed to actionable ideas and solutions, spoke with the Huffington Post about the Institute's new focus on encouraging youth to serve America after graduation, following the HuffPost-sponsored Opportunity: What Is Working jobs panel Wednesday at the DNC.
"If everybody could come out of college -- or [be] career-ready coming out of high school -- and serve in the military, or a teacher corps, or a health corps or something like that for one or two years, then they'd be really prepared for the work force," said Isaacson.
This service-oriented approach ties into the point Isaacson -- the author of the biography Steve Jobs -- made during the RNC jobs panel a week earlier in Tampa, when he spoke about a conversation he had with Jobs about passion. "We talked about the fact that it isn't just about your damn passion -- it's about doing something larger than yourself," said Isaacson. "It's about serving this world, helping others. So if you have a whole generation of people [who've been] told, 'Oh, just follow your passion,' they're going to forget that there's some purpose in life."
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The Skoll Foundation
<a href="http://www.skollfoundation.org" target="_hplink">The Skoll Foundation</a> commits $250,000 in matching funds for an innovative challenge in partnership with <a href="http://www.Crowdrise.com" target="_hplink">Crowdrise</a> and the Huffington Post to bring more resources and attention to U.S. nonprofits dedicated to reducing unemployment. The challenge will be called "<a href="http://www.jobraising.com" target="_hplink">JobRaising</a>." <a href="http://www.mckinsey.com/" target="_hplink">McKinsey & Company</a> is a knowledge partner.
<a href="http://www.starbucks.com" target="_hplink">Starbucks</a> will introduce a CD titled "Indivisible" which will launch in Starbucks stores on October 2nd and includes a $2 donation for every CD sold, adding to the nearly $80MM in loans financed and 4,000 jobs created and retained by the Create Jobs for USA program to-date.
<a href="http://www.fordfoundation.org" target="_hplink">Ford Foundation</a> will invest $150 million over the next five years on three addressable drivers of the jobs crisis: the skills mismatch (workforce development), the geographic mismatch (metropolitan opportunity and growth), and the asset gap (assist working people to gain economic security and develop new businesses).
The Rockefeller Foundation
<a href="http://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/" target="_hplink">The Rockefeller Foundation</a> believes the American people themselves have the innovation and creativity to imagine new solutions to our jobs crisis and skills gap. The Rockefeller Foundation will fund a $1 million prize for the most successful, innovative solution that creates new jobs for disconnected young people by harnessing the dynamism of America's small businesses.
<a href="http://www.linkedin.com" target="_hplink">LinkedIn</a> will curate a dedicated "What is Working" <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Opportunity-What-Is-Working-4552576?trk=myg_ugrp_ovr" target="_hplink">group </a>to engage its 175 million members in a discussion on solutions to the job crisis which already has over 3,400 members. LinkedIn will also provide millions of job opening data points for analysis.
Pacific Gas & Electric
Through 2013, <a href="http://www.pge.com/" target="_hplink">Pacific Gas and Electric Company</a> commits to providing career and technical training to 250 California residents, including 100 Veterans, and hiring or placing a majority of those into energy and utility industry jobs.
<a href="http://www.yearup.org" target="_hplink">Year Up</a> commits to growing our existing direct service program while simultaneously adapting elements of our model to create and expand learning pathways for low-income young adults that closely links college and employment. Year Up will serve over 1700 students in 2013, increasing the number of students served annually by approximately 15%, and launch a new site in Silicon Valley. Year Up will also continue to expand what we're calling the Professional Training Corps (PTC) and launch our second PTC site at Miami Dade College, modeled on the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). The PTC program resides at community colleges and helps students both earn an associate's degree and gain significant, relevant work experience. Through a five-year commitment, Year Up will directly serve 300 young adults through the PTC and develop a model capable of scaling to serve 100,000 students annually while also meeting student outcome targets and attaining long-term financial sustainability.
<a href="http://www.nbcnews.com" target="_hplink">NBC News</a> is committed to shining a spotlight on individuals and organizations helping to reduce unemployment in the U.S. through job creation. In 2011, NBC News kicked-off a partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) to launch "Hiring Our Heroes," a nationwide grassroots initiative to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment in the private sector. The 3-year, company-wide initiative has been largely defined by hiring fairs in local communities with support from local NBC stations across America. Less than 15 months after inception, "Hiring Our Heroes" reached the milestone of 10,000 hires. Lives have been changed - one job at a time.
The MCJ Amelior Foundation
The MCJ Amelior Foundation is playing a leading role in designing a strategic plan for the national jobs initiative to change the narrative and provide opportunities for job seekers in the United States. An effort to recruit the major firms in direct selling will be led by their affiliate, Princess House, to identify new job opportunities. The foundation will continue to support non profits in Newark, NJ who are working to train and connect their residents with jobs.
Over the next year, Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation will support the resurgence of advanced manufacturing jobs in the U.S. by investing more than $1.5 million in workforce development programs and partnering with several nonprofits, including The Manufacturing Institute to train the next generation of manufacturing workers in 10 states and help issue 3,000 industry-based certifications for key manufacturing jobs. In addition, through American Corporate Partners more than 125 Alcoa employees will mentor veterans transitioning from the armed services to the civilian workforce.
<a href="http://www.poynter.org/" target="_hplink">The Poynter Institute</a> will launch a special series to promote journalism that works for communities, highlighting news reports that show people tackling social problems, including jobs, education and street life.
In the next year, <a href="http://www.cityyear.org" target="_hplink">City Year</a> will mobilize 2,500 City Year AmeriCorps members to serve full-time in high poverty schools in 23 U.S. cities to address the early warning indicators of Attendance, Behavior and Course Performance to help 150,000 students reach the 10th grade on track and on time, which research shows is highly predictive of graduation. In addition, City Year will work with more than 50 colleges and universities which will provide financial scholarships to City Year alumni in recognition of their service and experience and with 24 teacher residency and teacher training programs to provide ongoing training for City Year graduates.
<a href="http://www.startuphire.com/" target="_hplink">StartupHire</a> will help fill 10,000 open startup jobs through our new "10,000 Startup Jobs" initiative.
The Robin Hood Foundation
<a href="http://www.robinhood.org/" target="_hplink">The Robin Hood Foundation</a> pledges to place a minimum of 7,780 New Yorkers (including 1,000 veterans) into full-time jobs over the next year through the innovative poverty-fighting organizations it funds.
<a href="http://valenciacollege.edu" target="_hplink">Valencia College</a>, with five campuses in Central Florida, commits to train 5,000 students in high-wage, high demand Associate in Science degree and certificate programs. The college will graduate another 5,500 Associate in Arts majors, many of whom will head to universities for advanced degrees and even greater earning power. To ensure we are preparing students for the workforce of the future, we will partner with the industries that hire them--seeking input from more than 600 business and industry leaders representing 300 organizations in the region.
Venture for America
<a href="http://ventureforamerica.org/" target="_hplink">Venture for America</a> promises to recruit and train 80 to 100 recent college graduates and place them at start-ups and early-stage growth companies in cities around the country to spur economic growth and develop the next generation of entrepreneurs.
<a href="http://www.purpose.com/" target="_hplink">Purpose</a> will apply the tools of mass mobilization to drive demand for disruptive new economy companies. In 2013, we will enable over a million consumers to drive demand en mass to at least 24 new economy businesses and in doing so help those businesses increase in scale and create the jobs of the future.
<a href="http://www.opportunitynation.org/" target="_hplink">Opportunity Nation</a> commits to increase economic opportunity and mobility across the U.S. Progress will be measured using Opportunity Scores, composite scores derived from more than a dozen indicators like access to good jobs, healthy communities, quality schools, and more. Our goal is to increase Opportunity Scores in all 50 states by 10% over the next 10 years.
<a href="http://Employ1TampaBay.com" target="_hplink">Employ1TampaBay.com</a> pledges a goal to add 15,000 jobs to the local Tampa economy by the end of 2013 with an overall target of 116,000 through this initiative.
In the next year, <a href="http://www.npower.org/" target="_hplink">NPower</a>'s Technical Service Corps program pledges to increase the number of students by 33% and expand locations to provide more opportunities for today's undeserved and disconnected youth. By bringing the tech community together to do social good, we will provide free IT training, professional skills, internships and job placement in the growing and thriving technology sector.
<a href="http://www.pencil.org/" target="_hplink">PENCIL</a> pledges to place 100 high-potential New York City public high school students at top companies throughout the City as part of its 2013 PENCIL Fellows Program.
The <a href="http://www.s.co/" target="_hplink">Startup America Partnership</a> will support the country's main job creators by helping to foster vibrant entrepreneurial communities across the U.S. through the continued creation of Startup Regions.
As its mobile payment platform expands nationwide, <a href="https://www.thelevelup.com/" target="_hplink">LevelUp</a> will grow its workforce by 25% in the next year, increasing its presence to more than a dozen U.S. cities. With 160 employees in 10 cities as of August 2012, double that of a year earlier, LevelUp continues to create technology sector jobs in markets across the country where its staff is trained and dedicated to helping local merchants grow their businesses. Roles to be filled include jobs in: Operations, Programming, Business Development, Sales and Marketing.
<a href="http://samasource.org/" target="_hplink">Samasource</a> has pioneered a model to bring microwork, small tasks completed online using cheap computers and free software, to over 3,000 people living in poverty in East Africa, Haiti, and India. SamaUSA, our first domestic initiative, will conduct an intensive training program for California communitiy college students from poor communities to find and succeed in online work; in 2013, we expect to create jobs for hundreds of these students at leading technology companies.
College to Careers (Chicago)
<a href="http://www.ccc.edu/menu/pages/college-to-careers.aspx" target="_hplink">College to Careers</a> promises to create an in-depth editorial series on the vital role of community colleges in reducing unemployment.
<a href="http://www.enstituteu.com/" target="_hplink">E[nstitute]</a> will bring together over 1,000 entrepreneurs to develop and launch a new model of higher education by turning startups and small businesses into classrooms.
Single Stop USA
<a href="http://singlestopusa.org" target="_hplink">Single Stop USA</a> will expand its financial advising services to impact up to 30,000 new community college students, empowering them to lead more productive lives.
During this coming year, <a href="https://www.coursera.org/" target="_hplink">Coursera</a> will work to bring quality higher education experiences to over one million people in the US, thus outfitting them with the knowledge and skills for success in today's diverse job market. Coursera will also build out a mechanism by which students taking Coursera classes can be matched up with the nation's top employers who are looking for skilled employees.
<a href="https://www.elance.com/" target="_hplink">Elance</a> will offer <a href="https://www.elance.com/q/whatisworking " target="_hplink">$1 million in free service credits</a> to U.S. companies hiring workers, monthly skills training sessions from experts for the unemployed, and free on-location student seminars for the <a href="https://www.elance.com/q/collegevisits" target="_hplink">first 50 universities that apply</a>.
<a href="http://www.icanomaha.org/" target="_hplink">ICAN</a>, The Institute for Career Advancement Needs, a non-profit institution, in an effort to provide training and education in America will provide a Defining Leadership training scholarship for an employee in any organization that has declared their promise to the Opportunity: What is Working initiative. This proven program provides 75 hours of education and development, at a value of $4000 per person. If you represent a fellow partnering organization for this initiative and would like to learn more about our Defining Leadership scholarship offer, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rise Asset Development
<a href="http://riseassetdevelopment.com/" target="_hplink">Rise Asset Development </a>will commit over $200,000 in financing to entrepreneurs living with mental illness and addictions throughout Ontario (Canada) in 2013. Rise will scale its model to three new cities, grow its mentorship program across the province, build a targeted youth program and pilot a group lending product targeting transitional homes, community housing and existing peer mental health or addiction support groups.
Central Florida Employment Council
In 2013, Central Florida Employment Council/Christian HELP will launch a new jobs initiative to equip and empower 200 individuals with the tools they need to be excellent employees through an innovative 6 weeks job skills class. Additionally, CFEC/Christian HELP will serve over 13,000 families with employment counseling, resumes, job fairs, and job leads through our job board <a href="www.cfec.org">www.cfec.org.</a>