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White House Council for Community Solutions Kicks Off

by Melody Barnes
This post originally appeared on the White House blog on February 4th, 2011.

Last week, in the State of the Union, the President offered a plan for America to win the future. He challenged us to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build our global competitors. The White House Council for Community Solutions will take on this challenge by encouraging the growth and maximizing the impact of innovative community-developed solutions related to youth development, education, and employment.

We are excited that the President has tapped leaders from the private and non-profit sectors, academia, philanthropy, and community organizations to serve on the Council. The members are in Washington, D.C. tomorrow for the first Council meeting. Public portions of the meeting are streaming live today from 1-3 p.m. EST at and footage will be available on soon.

Over the past few months, Council members have been taking the time to learn more about ongoing youth development work and effective models for cross-sector solutions. The difficult economic times have hit young people especially hard. Currently, approximately 4 million young people are disconnected from both education and employment. The President and the Council are concerned about both the immediate and long-term impact that such a trend will have on our nation’s workforce. This is a real opportunity to improve individual lives, as well as our nation’s economic future.

In the coming months, Council members will visit successful youth development programs across the country. They will engage with leaders to understand what elements of programs have been instrumental in program success and will look at frameworks for successful cross-sector collaborations.

Check for more updates on the Council.

Melody Barnes is Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.

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