The Alternative Schools Network rallied with a group of young people at Federal Plaza Monday afternoon. The group, in conjunction with others, is calling on Congress to appropriate $2 billion in federal funds for a national program to employ 2 million of America's jobless youth. The group's executive director says youth joblessness has reached a crisis level.
"If they can spend $17 billion a month in Iraq they can spend $2 billion a year to employ summer jobs and year-round jobs for all of you here in Chicago, here in New York, here in DC, across the country," said Jack Wuest, Alternative Schools Network executive director.
The group says lower violence rates, lower dropout rates and lower pregnancy rates are all benefits of higher employment rates for youth in the 16-to-19-year-old age group.