A recent UIC Great Cities Institute report on youth joblessness in Cook County was cited in a Progress Illinois article recapping a state hearing where Cook County Board commissioners called for action on youth unemployment policies to help address gun violence in Chicago.
Cook County commissioners want state lawmakers to act swiftly on policies to address high levels of youth unemployment in Illinois. They spoke out during a state hearing held Thursday afternoon by the Senate Subcommittee on Issues Impacting Youth.
“We have to do something bold and big, and we have to do it right away,” Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin told members of the subcommittee.
Boykin, as well as Commissioners Bridget Gainer and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, cited recent research from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Great Cities Institute. Youth in Cook County, the research found, are less likely to be employed than their counterparts at the state and national levels and in other highly populated areas in the U.S. The lack of employment is the most dire for Cook County’s black youth.
The elected leaders also pointed to Chicago’s uptick in gun violence as an example of why quick action is needed on addressing the shortage of youth employment opportunities.