The and the have announced the launch of a five-year, $5.9 million initiative to develop university-led models that prepare youth for employment.
Through the Youth Economic Participation Initiative, Talloires, a global association of colleges and universities, will select academic institutions to receive demonstration grants for projects that address barriers to employment or entrepreneurship, engage the public and private sectors, and encourage students and alumni to participate in their design and implementation. Lessons and best practices surfaced by the projects will be used to develop new employment models that can be shared with other institutions of higher education.
As part of the initiative, a community of practice will be established at Talloires to share knowledge about the role of higher education institutions in promoting the economic participation of young people. At the outset, the initiative will focus on universities in parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
"Around the world, colleges and universities play a crucial role in preparing students to become successful employees and entrepreneurs," said Mark Gearan, chair of the Talloires Network Steering Committee and president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. "This initiative is based on the conviction that institutions of higher education have both a great opportunity and a great responsibility to contribute to the economic development of their own communities."