Citi Foundation Commits $100 Million to Reduce Youth Unemployment

Citi Foundation Commits $100 Million to Reduce Youth Unemployment

The Citi Foundation has announced a three-year, $100 million commitment to expand its Pathways to Progress initiative.

The foundation's largest investment to date will support efforts to improve the quality of the U.S. and global youth workforce by connecting half a million people between the ages of 16 and 24 to jobs, internships, and leadership and entrepreneurship training by 2020. Half of the committed funding will be invested in U.S. cities, including Chicago, Dallas, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, New York City, Newark, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C., with the remaining $50 million pledged to efforts in Beijing, Casablanca, Mexico City, Mumbai, São Paulo, Warsaw, and other cities around the globe. The expansion also includes a commitment to engage ten thousand Citi employees as mentors, coaches, and role models for youth.

Launched in 2014 with a $50 million commitment, Pathways to Progress has helped more than a hundred thousand young people in ten U.S. cities become career-ready.

The Citi Foundation also released survey findings (20 pages, PDF) showing that despite political, economic, and social upheaval, 70 percent of young people around the world are optimistic about their career prospects. The survey also found that while 78 percent of respondents believe internships and apprenticeships are critical for success, 60 percent say there are not enough such opportunities.

"The playing field isn't level for all young people, and Citi wants to help change that," said Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat. "Mentors, internships, and exposure to a variety of career opportunities help young people get a foot in the door and provide the foundation they need to thrive in their careers — those are the things Pathways to Progress helps provide to those who might not have access to them otherwise. Young people consistently say they want to pursue careers that allow them to contribute to important societal issues, and I firmly believe that matching that ambition with the skills provided through Pathways will benefit all of us when they enter the workforce."