The Obama administration has released an ambitious $5.5 billion proposal to develop summer and first-time jobs for youths over four years, part of the federal budget plan scheduled to be released next week, reports The Washington Post.
The plan also calls for a $2 billion strategy to develop apprenticeships over five years. The Post calls the budget more of an “aspirational document than a real-life tax and spending plan,” since President Barack Obama is in his eighth year of office.
But the president is hoping to hurdle over congressional blockades he has experienced in the past. Last year, Obama made a similar proposal for $3 billion, but Congress did not supply any of those funds, notes the report.
The proposals — part of a $12.5 billion package of new spending over five years — includes $3 billion to train people to lure firms to the United States from abroad or to keep them from leaving.
The administration also plans to ask Congress to approve $2 billion in competitive grants that would be jointly administered by the Labor and Education Departments.
Jeff Zients, director of the White House National Economic Council, said that 1 in 7 young people ages 16 to 24 are neither in school nor in the workforce. He said that people “who endure a spell of unemployment between the ages of 16 and 24 earn $400,000 less over their careers than those who do not.” Moreover, he said: “Having a first job is not just about the paycheck; it’s about pride, confidence and self-esteem.”
Acting education secretary John B. King cited a study of Chicago’s One Summer program that showed a 43 percent reduction in violent-crime arrests, according to the Post.
We hope the president can push the program through Congress in his final year in office. Do you think Congress will approve the fund this time around? Sound off in the comments.