Last week, Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) was awarded the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s ‘Congressional Youth Innovation’ Award for his commitment to helping young people reach their full potential. Representatives of the Boys & Girls Clubs honored Rep. Kilmer’s innovative leadership in sponsoring the Youth Workforce Readiness Act, a bill which aims to equip young people with skills to succeed in the workforce, increase job accessibility, and end the cycle of poverty.
“Representative Kilmer could not be more deserving of receiving BGCA’s Congressional Youth Innovation Award. He has been a longtime champion for youth in our region. His support has helped us secure funding for new facilities and enhanced programs and opportunities to create great futures for the nearly 4,000 youth we serve in the Puget Sound region,” said Carrie Holden, President and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound. “Representative Kilmer is not only a leader we can turn to in Congress, but is one that has taken the time on a number of occasions to visit our Clubs and engage with our Club members—some of the youngest constituents he works for. He understands that the work we do to ensure great futures for the young people we serve cannot be done on our own, and we are grateful for his continued partnership and support.”
“A true leader doesn’t just solve for today’s problems but for tomorrow’s as well. Congressman Kilmer is a prime example of a leader who goes above and beyond at formulating solutions that will have the maximum impact on our youth’s present and future,” said Jim Clark, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “His commitment to investing in tomorrow’s leaders today has had an undeniable impact not just in Washington but throughout the country. We are fortunate to have a dedicated advocate in the halls of Congress and are honored to call him a supporter and friend.”
“Kids are one-third of our population—but 100% of our future. That future will be brighter because of the amazing work of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America,” said Rep. Kilmer. “I’m proud to receive the ‘Congressional Youth Innovation’ Award for my work to help ensure our students have the skills they need for the workforce of tomorrow. I’ll keep working to partner with great organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to help our youth to reach their full potential.”
The Youth Workforce Readiness Act establishes a competitive grant program for out-of-school-time programs—like those supported at Boys & Girls Clubs across Washington state—that focus on skills development, career exposure, job-readiness and certification, and work-based learning.
In addition to co-sponsoring the Youth Workforce Readiness Act, Rep. Kilmer introduced the Compete for the Future Act last Congress, a bipartisan bill that would create a prize competition for youth and pre-apprenticeship programs that help high schoolers learn skills for high-demand jobs.
The Boys and Girls Clubs serve nearly 123,000 Washington youth and 4.7 million youth across the country.