HR Strange But True!
February 02, 2012

“What’s Hot?” asks a headline in the DOL Newsletter for January 5. And why is Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis smiling so brightly in the accompanying picture? Could it be that someone told her to “Have a Nice Day”?

Bon Jovi and Hilda Solis  
Photo credit: DOL
Bon Jovi and Hilda Solis

Of course, Solis was pleased to announce at the White House the new DOL Summer Jobs + initiative to find new call to action that asks businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies to provide pathways to employment for low-income and disconnected youth ages 16–24 this summer. And she was happy to announce that a new online summer jobs bank will be created to help young people access opportunities in their local communities.

But she was also happy to welcome rock legend and President’s Council on Community Solutions member Jon Bon Jovi to the DOL. Bon Jovi has a solid history of charitable work. Besides his appointment by President Obama, he has worked for Special Olympics, the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, among other nonprofits. And he lent his voice to the single “Everybody Hurts,” which benefitted the 2010 Haiti earthquake recovery efforts.

While employers have been shell-shocked by one of the most devastating economic turns in history, choosing to hire young workers seems to carry greater potential risks for business. Yet, with the help of organizations like Bon Jovi’s Soul Foundation, (not to mention his illustrious connections with high-profile employers), the White House and the rocker are teaming up to spark a nationwide dialogue among employers about the value of hiring America’s youth this summer.

Bon Jovi told the gathering that coordination of efforts by nonprofits and potential employers on the local community level is essential to make this initiative a success.

“With help from a number of major corporations such as Jamba Juice, UPS, and Wells Fargo, 80,000 young people had jobs last summer,” says Solis. Already, commitments have been made by employers nationwide to create over 170,000 jobs for young people this summer, including paid internships and job-shadowing programs.



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