AFL-CIO Announces 2nd Annual “Next Up” Young Workers Summit

September 29- October 2 in Minneapolis, Minn.


(Washington, DC, June 9) – Liz Shuler, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO, announced today that the 2nd annual Young Workers Summit will be held at the end of September in Minneapolis, Minn. Last year more than 400 young activists and union workers met in Washington for the first national Young Workers Summit and launched a long-term outreach program to working people under the age of 35.

According to organizers of the conference, this year young labor leaders and activists will come together to continue to develop a movement of young workers while working toward building a labor movement that speaks for all young people and mobilizes to create an economy that benefits young workers.

As young people are entering the workforce this summer, they are facing a particularly bad economy. According to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute, the unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds averaged 18.4 percent in 2010, compared with 9.6 percent overall.

“Now more than ever, young people need advocates to call for the kinds of solutions that will benefit people at all ages – whether they’re 20, 30, 50 or 80,” said Shuler. “Through the Young Workers Summit, young workers, activists and leaders from all over the country will continue mobilizing to create an economy that works for all working people, including young people.”

At the first summit, young workers called for mentoring initiatives to help young union members grow into leadership roles, organizing a young worker constituency group, holding a national youth summit each year, creating a website with information on national, state and local opportunities and creating blogs that highlight best practices for involving young workers among a number of priorities.

Also this week, leaders on the AFL-CIO Young Worker Council—the new young worker group helping lead the effort—are meeting to detail next steps in youth engagement.


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