Two small business organizations have teamed to encourage and boost youth employment.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Small Business Majority are encouraging small employers to hire young people for a national sign-on campaign, with the aim to help people who are not attending school or out of work to start entry-level roles.

The SBA, an independent federal government agency, and the Small Business Majority, a national advocacy group, have previously collaborated on the same initiative and have small businesses pledge youth hires, which may include full or part-time internships or mentorship opportunities.

Chris Armstrong, director of partnerships and government affairs for the Small Business Majority, told Latin Post the collaboration is to create more opportunities for the nation's youth and millennial population. Armstrong noted small businesses account for most of the U.S. employment figures. With the campaign, the focus will be made to encourage hires of people of color and individuals living in under-privileged communities.

"Unemployment remains stubbornly high for young Americans, with one in four Millennials currently out of work," said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet in a statement. "Youth unemployment impedes the growth of local economies, with a disproportionate negative impact on underserved communities."

"Together with Small Business Majority, SBA is working to ensure that today's youth have the career options they need to thrive and succeed and that small businesses -- the engine of our economy -- have a strong, dedicated workforce. Connecting youth and small business owners will not only help address unemployment, but it could spark the next generation of entrepreneurs," Contreras-Sweet added.

Armstrong said the two organizations are making it known to small businesses that young people are ready and willing to work but need to know these opportunities exist. From youth employment, he said small businesses can cultivate and invest in the new hires to better grow their respective organizations.

This time around, with programs such as the "My Brother's Keeper Initiative," Armstrong said there is a concerted effort and understanding to identify and amplify federal efforts to close the skill and unemployment gap.

The campaign is an effort to address the high youth unemployment rate, especially among minority populations. According to the Small Business Majority, youth minority unemployment hit 33 percent during the Great Recession period and struggles persist today. Last year, the goal was to find 100 small business employers to take the pledge, and the goal was met and surpassed.


For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Politics Editor Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: