State Senator Art Haywood issued the following statement at a press conference supporting State Senator Vincent Hughes’ Youth Investment Initiative. At the event, Senator Haywood introduced a Youth Employment Tax Credit program that would incentivize private employers to hire teenagers and young adults from low-income families.


PHILADELPHIA, MAY 5, 2016: “We can all recognize the innate value and importance of our first job or internship. My own first job was as a newspaper delivery boy when I was nine-years-old. The lessons I learned from working to earn a paycheck cannot be understated, and we must instill these values in the next generation.

While Pennsylvania’s economy has improved in recent years, the number of employment opportunities available for teenagers and young adults has continued to decline. In fact, in Philadelphia alone, there are 72,000 out-of-school youth between ages 16 and 24 that are unemployed. To give some perspective, that’s more people than could fit in Lincoln Financial Field. Study after study indicates that youth from low-income families have been disproportionately impacted by this reduction in job opportunities.

To help address this employment gap, my legislation will create a Youth Employment Tax Credit Program. This program will incentivize private employers to hire teenagers and young adults from low income families. Employers would be able to claim a credit equal to 35% of the total cost of the employment opportunity or $1,500, whichever is less. The bill proposes to fund the program at $15 million a year for the next five years. By helping youth from low-income families find meaningful employment, we will be putting them on the path towards a bright and successful future.”


Contact: Melissa Ostroff