Across employers and industries, we have heard stories about the value young people bring to the workplace. Employers in manufacturing cited the need for serious hand-eye coordination and reported positive experiences with young people filling these roles. Others cited the benefit of having youth in their companies who can use evolving technologies. For others, especially firms that need a lot of entry-level employees, young workers are their lifeblood.
Youth Hold the Key: Building Your Workforce Today and in the Future focuses on the role that youth can play in helping employers meet some of their current and looming workforce challenges, and how companies can improve how they hire and retain youth. The findings are based on a recent survey of 350 employers, more than 80 interviews with employers and workforce experts conducted during 2014 by The Bridgespan Group and Bain & Company, as well as a review of published literature. Much of this work focused on the potential of the millions of young people—referred to here as "opportunity youth"—who are disconnected from both work and school, and lack a college degree, to address the needs of employers.