Next Up Young Workers Summit: Helping Those in Need
Nearly 800 young working people, activists and students from across the country kicked off the AFL-CIO Next Up Young Workers Summit in Minneapolis today by doing what union members do best—helping others in need.
The young working people partnered with the service organization Tubman and the AFL-CIO Community Services Network to create back-to-school care packages for children who live in the Twin Cities. Tubman helps women, children and families struggling with relationship violence, substance abuse, trauma and mental health issues.
Tubman also provides safe shelter, legal services, mental and chemical health counseling, youth programming, elder care resources and community education to more than 54,000 people across the Twin Cities metro area.
The summit, which runs through Oct. 2, is part of the AFL-CIO’s efforts, led by Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, to reach out to working people under age 35. Young activists, including organizers and actors Lucas Neff and RJ Mitte, also will speak at the conference.
Be sure to watch a live webcast of Shuler and U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis as they formally kick off the conference here today, beginning at 5 p.m. CDT. Young activists also will speak in the opening session.
On Friday, the young workers will march through downtown Minneapolis carrying “I Want a Job” signs. In an interview with The Nation, Shuler explains that young workers are facing an economic tsunami:
Youth face an abyss now: coming out of college, not being able to find a job, carrying extraordinary debt, delaying adulthood. More people are living with their parents than any time since World War II. Even if you find a job, it’s at a lower wage rate than before the recession. So you’re starting behind and you never end up catching up.
She said the summit will provide a space for young workers to network and exchange ideas.
It’s an education platform to talk about the issues facing young workers. It’s also to provide leadership development, because we need it in the labor movement, where we have very few opportunities for young people to ascend to leadership positions.
Read the entire interview here.