Valley Works: Get a college degree, get a job?

FRESNO, California

Statistics show those under the age of thirty have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

When it comes to searching for a job, Joshua Matkin, 23, has tried just about every approach.

"Countless applications I have put in," Matkin said. "But I feel like I've put my resume in a black hole."

This recent Fresno State graduate thought he was doing everything right, he worked while attending college to get experience, he even changed his major hoping dual degrees in economics and accounting would make him more employable.

Matkin told Action News, "I knew it was going to be hard because people where having a tough time finding a job, but at the same time you have to have confidence in yourself so I thought I am going to get a job, I am going to get a job."

Despite his hard work, Joshua has become part of a statistic he was hoping to avoid. 53 percent of recent college graduates are either unemployed or working in jobs that don't require a degree.

Dr. Timothy Stearns said, "We have a real challenge before us as a society because here is a generation that may be locked in this situation for a long time."

The Director of the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Fresno State, Dr. Timothy Stearns says those under 30 are facing this situation because in today's economy employers want more than someone with a college degree they want someone who can bring skills and ideas to the job.

Dr. Stearns explained, "The ability to be proactive, the ability to be problem solving to be a starter to be creative they're going to continue to contributing to that company

Stearns calls them entrepreneurial skills, skills that not enough students are being taught. Matthew Segal, a young entrepreneur himself says he has a way to help young people acquire those skills.

Segal said, "Service is a compelling form of workforce training."

The 26 year old Segal is the co-founder and president of "Our Time" an organization that promotes the economic and civic interest of those under 30. During a Skype interview with Action News Segal explained how putting young people to work for such organizations as AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity and Teach for America could help bridge the skills gap

"There is a huge deficit of people with nursing skills, or with computer skills or building skills," Segal said. "Clearly service positions will help give people the training to help solve these problems."

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