More about AJAY
Our children deserve hope, optimism and dignity
Despite our country’s polarized politics, almost all of us agree on one thing: Our kids must be able to find jobs upon completing their education. Because without meaningful work, how does a young person build a foundation of experience, self-respect, and the ability to raise and support a family?
A group of us in Montana decided to see what it would take to change that. We began by assessing our strengths and weaknesses in preparing our youth for meaningful work. Educators, business-people, leaders of non-profits, religious, trade union and civic organizations, federal and state staff, and concerned citizens came together. We worked for months, asking questions, seeking answers and putting together the pieces of the puzzle. Our research led to 9 core recommendations aimed at keeping all our kids on the educational ladder through high school, plus a year or more of National Service (civilian or military), apprenticeship or college. Everything we propose has been proven to work. We simply have not used these tools widely enough, as a state or nation.
Our approach - mobilize the great potential of a truly collaborative community
American Jobs for America's Youth seeks to inspire, motivate and help organize the vast untapped potential in our community organizations and our citizens. We will continue to build a strategic network of engaged community and sector representatives promoting best practices in our nine core recommendation areas to achieve the goal: Maximize the number of American youth who graduate high school and who—after at least one year of public service, apprenticeship or college—shall be assured a job opportunity at a living wage:
Early Childhood Development and Education
Expanded National Service
Current Montana Job Connection Programs
Living Wage Private and Public Sector Jobs
We believe that synergy and collaboration between community stakeholders working within these recommended (see above) areas—and, ultimately involving all community members—will help us achieve this vital goal. In the words of Major General Gene Prendergast, retired Adjutant General of the Montana National Guard, "We can DO this!"