JOBS for AMERICA'S GRADUATES

Secretary Arne Duncan Keynoted JAG National Thought Leader Event, Hosted by Governor Jack Markell (DE)

The 2011 National Thought Leader Event was hosted by Governor Jack Markell as Chair and featured U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.  The focus was on SOLUTIONS for high-risk minority youth – both academic and economic.

The event was held on May 24 at the Columbus Club at Union Station.  As in previous Thought Leader Events, a select group of 100 policy and programmatic leaders from both the public and private sectors at the local, state, and national levels were invited.  These leaders develoedp specific recommendations – in this case, for the new state-level leaders – based on “solutions that have been proven to work, at scale and over time” for high-risk youth.

At this event, more emphasis was placed on securing jobs and good career opportunities, given the extraordinarily high unemployment rate among young people in general and high-risk minority youth in particular.

We were very honored that Secretary Duncan keynoted the Thought Leader Event.  He brought JAG to Chicago while serving as CEO of the Chicago Public Schools.  Based on that success in Chicago, the Secretary was an enthusiastic advocate for JAG while he served on the JAG  Board of Directors.

Secretary Duncan was the third Cabinet officer to keynote a Thought Leader Event.  Last year’s events included U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (a former Chair of the JAG Board, who brought JAG to Iowa while he served as Governor) and U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.

The May 24 event was one of the high-visibility policy engagement events that  conducted in 2011.  Over the past four years, five “National Thought Leader Events” have been convened by a unique group of organizations with decades of experience in working to find solutions – both academic and economic – for high-risk youth.

The National Urban League, the National Council of La Raza, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation have joined with Jobs for America's Graduates in the development of a series of intensive working events to identify solutions “proven to work, at scale and over time.”  These solutions offer legislative, programmatic, and administrative guidance to State and federal officeholders to meet one of the most intractable challenges that have faced the American economy and society – the great disparities of economic and academic success for at-risk youth, and especially for high-risk minority youth.

The results and recommendations for state office holders are available here.

The results and recommendations for federal office holders are available here.