Recommendation: A national initiative should be undertaken to develop and provide information and training to reduce the risks and enhance the benefits associated with youth employment. Adequate resources should be allocated to an agency to lead this effort.
The purpose of the School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994 (to run to October 2001) is to leverage other resources to foster partnerships, at the state and local levels, that will build systems to support the transition of adolescents from school into lifelong careers. An evaluation of the School-to-Work Opportunities Act is under way, but it is unclear if that evaluation will adequately assess the presence and effectiveness of health and safety training or the safety of workplacements under the act.
Recommendation: The Departments of Education and Labor, in their evaluation of the School-to-Work Opportunities Act, should make certain that the evaluation includes comprehensive assessment of the success of different programs in conveying appropriate and effective workplace health and safety information and training. Those practices found to be effective should be continued after the School-to-Work Opportunities Act expires.
Commending employers that provide healthy, safe, and beneficial workplaces for young people may be equally as important as fining those that do not. The committee envisions the establishment of a seal of approval for such workplaces, based on nationally developed criteria, but administered at a local level. All workplaces where young people receive publicly supported education and training could be required to be meet the criteria (e.g., internships, cooperative education, youth apprenticeship, and placements subsidized by Job Training Partnership Act and other federal funds), with participation by other employers on a voluntary basis.
Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should convene a prestigious group representing all affected parties to develop cri-