Career Connect: Covid 19 Update

COVID -19 continues to impact young people through school disruption, job losses (particularly in the service sector), and a recession for those just entering the job market.

In Washington, work-based learning models result in higher earnings and significant returns on taxpayer dollars. The speed and strength of our state’s recovery is dependent on maintaining and growing our state’s pipeline of skilled labor.

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Why should young people explore careers right now?

Recessions and depressions disproportionally affect younger workers. For the five years after the 2008 stock market collapse, unemployment among younger workers was 16.2%, more than double the national rate.

Even once these early-career workers were able to find jobs, they continued to earn lower wages, resulting in lower lifetime earnings.

We are now faced with a new crisis, one that has the potential to be much worse. Early projections suggest national unemployment will exceed 20 percent—one out of every five workers will be out of work. Many of the early layoffs impacted industries with higher proportions of under-30 workers (e.g., hospitality, travel / tourism, and the gig economy), making younger workers more vulnerable to the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Already in Washington state, young people are experiencing unemployment at twice the levels of older workers. More than ever, they will need pathways to emerging, high-skill, higher-wage jobs.

Career Connect Washington is a key part of our state’s economic recovery

Career exploration and preparedness is important to not just our young people, but to our whole state’s recovery.

In Washington, work-based learning results in higher earnings and significant returns on taxpayer dollars. The speed and strength of our state’s recovery is dependent on maintaining and growing our state’s pipeline of skilled labor.

What is the larger plan to continue access to Career Connected Learning through, and after, the pandemic?

Career Connect Washington is poised and ready to help our state’s economy and our young adult workforce recover from this crisis. We’re working on the following three initiatives as part of the recovery strategy.

CareerConnect@Home is a month-long career connected learning opportunity for students to learn about Washington industries and employers. CareerConnect@Home provides an outlet to help students look towards the future and beyond the current headlines. Visit careerconnectathome.org for the schedule and more information.

Career Launch preservation and expansion: CCW is proposing a rapid and responsive pool of grant funding designed to leverage existing CCW programs and pathways to preserve and grow Career Launch Enrollment.

Career Launch recovery fund: CCW is proposing a grant pool designed to create pathways for young adults into industries forecast to be more resilient after this crisis, as well as industries deemed essential during the pandemic, such as health care and technology.