Tom Shuford: Help teens find work

September 4, 2013 

Trouble for teens

UNC Board of Governors vice chairman and farmer Fred Grainger pleads for more low-skilled foreign workers in his Sept. 3 Point of View piece, “A critical need for a workable visa plan.”

Congress ought to hear such pleas while thinking about the already dismal prospects for America’s young: “This is a Great Depression for teens, and no time in history have we encountered anything like that,” said Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston, in the Aug. 30 article “Teen employment stuck at record lows.” A “plethora of research shows that teens who work do better in a wide range of social and economic indicators. The plunging teen employment rate is likely to mean trouble for this generation of young workers of all races.”

Grainger lauds the Senate’s amnesty/immigration acceleration bill – passed by all 54 Democratic senators, including North Carolina’s Sen. Kay Hagan (up for re-election in 2014). The hope for America, the hope for the young, is in the GOP-led House. Under lavishly funded pressure to feed businesses’ ever-expanding appetite for cheap foreign labor, the House is resisting – so far. “A Great Depression for teens” has not yet turned into permanent hopelessness.

Tom Shuford


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