Obama's Budget to Boost Funding for Workforce Programs

The president's proposal will include billions of dollars aimed at connecting people to their first job.

President Barack Obama will make an ambitious pitch to Congress next week in his fiscal 2017 budget, asking lawmakers to approve nearly $6 billion to help more than 1 million young people gain work experience and nab their first job.

The U.S. is in the midst of the longest streak of private-sector job growth ever, according to the administration, with more than 14 million new jobs created during the past 70 months and 5 million jobs currently open?. Yet 1 in 7 young people ages 16 to 24 are either not in school or don't have a job.

"The challenge is that if employers are looking for experience, how does a young person convince a company to give her a first shot to show what she can do," Jeff Zients, director of the National Economic Council, said on a press call Wednesday afternoon.

To that end, the president's budget proposal will include a $5.5 billion request – nearly double the $3 billion included in last year's proposal – to connect people to their first jobs over the summer and throughout the year.

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