The Westside Health Authority joins others in urging Chicago residents and elected officials to invest in youth employment opportunities, which provide viable alternatives to crime and incentives to stay in school.

A startling 91 percent of teen-aged Black males in Chicago were jobless in 2012-13. Teens and young adults who are out of school and out of work go on to face adverse labor market consequences in their adult years. Without early opportunities that provide professional development and financial gain, these disconnected youth are likely to experience higher incidence of unemployment, reduced earnings, and higher incidence of poverty as adults.

Among young males, being out of school and out of work is strongly linked to incarceration. Out-of-school and out-of-work young females have higher probability of being single mothers, being jobless, and being poor which have adverse impacts on the well-being of their children. ADVOCATE FOR JOBS FOR OUR YOUTH.