Aaron Williams to discuss how the public, private sector can better prepare the world’s youth workforce on Center for Strategic and International Studies panel

WASHINGTON – As part of a panel hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Aaron Williams, executive vice president of the International Development Group at RTI International, will discuss how public and private sectors are innovating policy, programs, and partnerships to prepare today’s youth for the global workforce Jan. 15 in Washington, D.C.

Half the world's population is under age 25, leaving youth as a large and growing share of the labor force in many economies, especially across the developing world. Yet, youth are up to four times more likely to be unemployed than adult workers. 

“We are facing an unprecedented global youth crisis where more than 350 million young people are neither working, in school, or in training,” Williams said. “When you have an entire generation of young people that are out of work and disaffected, this will manifest itself in social instability, vulnerability to risky behaviors, lost lifetime earnings for youth, and ultimately it will have a negative impact on local economies. In my former capacity leading Peace Corps, I have seen first-hand the challenges young people face in gaining employment across the developing world without the necessary skills and readiness.”

Williams will join a panel that includes Arup Banerji, director, Social Protection and Labor Human Development Network, World Bank Group; Henrietta Holsman Fore, chairman and CEO, Holsman International and former administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development; and Jennifer Silberman, vice president, corporate responsibility, Hilton Worldwide.

The panel will discuss what a prepared and ready workforce for the 21st century looks like, how the private sector can better prepare the world’s workforce, best practices of public private partnerships in developing the youth workforce, and how technology is changing the landscape.

“Young people are the drivers of growth and innovation in economies,” Williams said. ”The business community is fully aware of this, and the private sector is a critical partner in many promising models across the globe.  We have an opportunity to better understand and scale these efforts, thereby changing this trend.”

The event is part of CSIS’s ongoing “Chevron Forum on Development” series, which seeks to highlight the role of the private sector in global development. It will be held Jan. 15 from 2 – 3:30 p.m. at CSIS.

The event is free and open to the public. Interested attendees can register at ChevronForum@csis.org.