FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Carrie Shaw (425) 344-1787
Issaquah, Wash. – Washington state has the 9th lowest young adult employment rate in the country. What to do about it is the main focus of a community forum hosted by the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, Issaquah History Museums, and Community Forums Network (CFN), Thursday, June 14, 3:30 p.m. at the Issaquah Depot Museum, 150 First Avenue Northeast.
The forum includes a panel discussion with State Senator Jim Kastama (D), 25th Legislative District, State Representative Jay Rodne (R), 5th Legislative District, and Jim Spady, Vice President of Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants, Inc.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information and to RSVP, go to the Community Forums Network website http://www.communityforumsnetwork.org/events/issaquah-chamber-history-museum-forum/
“In the greater Issaquah community and throughout the state, we are seeing the day-to-day impact of young adult joblessness and the struggle that young people are having in the current job market” said Issaquah Chamber CEO Matthew Bott. “The new economic reality mandates that we come together to solve this issue, as it is key to our state’s economic future. We are glad to be partnering with Community Forums Network to help identify solutions.”
Erica Maniez, director for the Issaquah History Museums, said, “Investments in our youth are vital to the health of any community. We want our community to provideopportunities for young people to establish a career and become successful. Today’s young people are the civic leaders of tomorrow. We’re pleased to be part of CFN’s efforts to bring people together to talk about solutions.”
With a young adult — ages 16 to 24 — employment rate of only 43 percent, Washington state has the 9th lowest rate in the country according to government labor statistics. Now through June 17, CFN is hosting forums and promoting an online survey through a network of 25 nonprofit community, education, and business organizations and for anyone interested in providing feedback on how to fix the problem.
“The CFN mission is to discover consensus on major issues and to share those insights with policy decision-makers,” said Carrie Shaw, CFN executive director. “All we hear about is how divided we are on important issues. We want to buck that conventional wisdom and find consensus on important issues like job creation. It’s a more solutions-based approach,” said Shaw.
Partner organizations involved in the round 1 of CFN forums include; Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, Issaquah History Museums, Association of Washington Business Institute, Boys & Girls Clubs of King County, CityClub of Seattle, El Centro de la Raza, Solid Ground, TVW, Washington Federation of Independent Schools, and Washington Restaurant Association Education Foundation to name a few. A complete list of CFN Partners is available on the website www.CommunityForumsNetwork.org
Shaw added that the CFN model to build a network of diverse organizations as a hub for public feedback is centered on the work of Dick Spady, co-founder and president of Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants and a longtime advocate of meaningful public engagement and community building strategies.
CFN is part of the Dick Spady Legacy Project that includes Countywide Community Forums of King County and academic development in the social sciences through the Forum Foundation.
“We are grateful for the support of the Spady family in providing the startup funds for this statewide project to discover consensus on important issues,” said Shaw.
CFN’s goal is to have 50 organizations involved by the end of 2012 that represent the diverse geographical areas of the state and the spectrum of ideas and perspectives on a wide range of issues.
CFN is strictly non-partisan and works with a diverse group of Advisory Board members and partners to develop the topics and materials presented in the forums and online platform. Data gathered during a topic round is verified by an independent accounting firm and a “Where’s the consensus?” Report is created and shared with policy decision-makers, the media, and the general public. The Round 1 survey findings will be released in early July 2012.
For more information, or to access the online survey and forum calendar, go to www.CommunityForumsNetwork.org or call toll free 800-369-2584