When large numbers of young people are unemployed, it is not only a blow to the individuals, it is also a missed economic opportunity for the region. That was the overarching message of a panel discussion held Thursday by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and STL Youth Jobs.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that in 2012, 15 percent of people ages 16 to 24 in the U.S. were not employed, not in school or not getting job training. For each of those “detached” youth, the economy misses out on $14,000 annually.
The global manufacturing company Emerson is upping its investment in the Ferguson community to show "renewed commitment" to the place it has been headquartered for 70 years.
"We choose to be here and are committed to this community, especially now in its increased time of need," chairman and CEO David Farr said in a press release. "We...want to help remove barriers so that more of our neighbors can succeed."
Sweet potatoes planted by St. Louis teens now have their own plot in the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Young members of an effort called the Sweet Potato Project planted seedlings on Saturday, joined by Garden leaders and other supporters. The project teaches teens from north St. Louis how to grow sweet potatoes sustainably, mainly in vacant lots, and then how to brand and sell sweet potato products.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is asking businesses in the city to help put 500 young people to work this summer through a program called Stl Youth Jobs.
One corporation stepped up Wednesday.
JPMorgan Chase announced a $100,000 donation, and the company is asking other businesses to help.
"It is very important for this city that we build that base, that base of people that understand how to work, love to work and want to be part of this community," said Scott Bush, a managing director and market leader with the firm.