No Way to Treat a Crisis

HuffPost | by Louis Miceli

 

How in the world does a young adult get a decent paying job in New York City? Even college graduates with good grades, experience and connections often have to take unpaid internships to get a foot in the door. What if you never graduated from high school, never had a job and your family knows no one who can help you? How do you convince an employer you’re worth hiring? We’re facing a youth employment crisis—nationwide, 6.7 million young adults ages 18 to 24 are neither in school nor working; 172,000 live right here in New York City.

New York State has tried to ease this crisis with the National Work Readiness Credential (NWRC), which is intended to show employers that a jobseeker can perform well in an entry-level position. But according to an investigative report by JobsFirstNYC, few of the tens of thousands of young people who attempted to earn the credential ultimately attained it, and virtually none of them got a leg up in the job market. Employers don’t value it. Black test takers fail the exam to get the NWRC at twice the rate of whites, suggesting the test is racially biased.

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