New data from the Greater Sacramento Economic Council shows that the greater Sacramento area has one of the worst youth unemployment rates in the nation.

Mayor Steinberg is planning to announce an initiative called “Thousand Strong”, which aims to bring down youth unemployment through linking non-profits with community based groups and employers.

One of the community based groups that is part of the Thousand Strong campaign is Green Technical Education Group. This non-profit uses grant funds to help young people get job skills for green collar jobs.

ABC10’s Anne Di Grazia went out to the Green Tech site in Oak Park where young adults from ages 12 to 21 were practicing urban farming. Coordinators said they aim to help underserved young people who have no work experience with a resume like 18-year-old Samiya Monson, who said it is rewarding seeing plants grow.

"Knowing I helped plant them, I come here to water them and take care of them,” Monson said.

She comes on Tuesday and Saturday to work and gets a stipen at the end of each day. Green Tech is helping her learn green skills like aquaponics with specialist Paul Trudeau. He hopes to get these kids into the workforce with unique skills.

"We also offer construction classes, computer coding, all kinds of stuff,” Trudeau added.

Simeon Gant started the non-profit in 2009 and has been in Oak Park for about three years.

"Sacramento has one of the highest unemployment rates for youth and young adults,” Gant said.
“We have to give them these skills to get them into the workforce”.

Gant told ABC10 he and the other organizations teaming up in Thousand Strong are ready to help cut unemployment.

"A lot of these employers are saying they aren’t ready but green tech is saying we will get them ready,” Gant said.