Could a Boston nonprofit help France solve its huge youth unemployment problem?
That’s the hope behind Thursday’s planned visit by France’s economic minister to Year Up, a national organization based in Boston that helps low-income young adults get educated, get jobs, and escape poverty.
Emmanuel Macron, whose official title is minister of economy, industry, and digital affairs, is scheduled to stop by Year Up’s Milk Street office to learn new strategies for putting jobless youth to work. In France, more than 20 percent of young adults are unable to find permanent full-time employment, roughly double the rate in the US.
The visit will include a tour, Q&A session, and introductions to several Year Up students and staff, including executive director Duncan McCallum – but not founder and CEO Gerald Chertavian, who will be away visiting Year Up’s new office in Jacksonville, Fla.
Also in attendance will be Karilyn Crockett, director of economic policy and research for the City of Boston, and Richard Curtis and Paul Francisco, vice presidents at State Street Corp., a longtime Year Up supporter. The organization’s approach involves partnering with private industry to help young people find jobs.
“For us, it’s not as important that the minister leaves knowing exactly how our program works,” said Year Up spokesman Bryan Mahony, “but that he leaves having a model of getting businesses involved in these social issues and investing in young adults as an economic asset.”
While in Boston, Macron will also visit Sanofi-owned Genzyme for a meeting co-hosted by Genzyme CEO David Meeker and Sanofi executive vice president Suresh Kumar, and the Harvard Innovation Lab for a gathering co-hosted by assistant directors Neal Doyle and Matthew Guidarelli.
Macron’s Boston stop is part of a three-day US trip – he’s also visiting New York and Washington D.C. – to promote France as an American business partner and share ideas on innovation and technology.