As the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan (economic stimulus) goes around the Senate, I was curious about how the proposed plan would impact millenials. I reflected on some of the major issues and interests of our generation and how the stimulus plan proposes to address them. This list is by no means exhaustive but I thought it would be good to highlight aspects of the bill the Gen Y stands to benefit from either directly or by the increase in potential opportunities.

Job Training: While the focus of this stimulus plan is on creating jobs, the concern is the kind of education or training that will be required to obtain these jobs may make employment out of reach for younger people. Additionally, younger employees are hit hardest by the recession.

· $4 billion for job training including :

o $1.2 billion to create up to one million summer jobs for youth

o $50 million to expand Youth Build (provides jobs for low-income youths in constructing low-income housing)

o Training for Green jobs and other jobs to be generated by the Act.

Small businesses: Millenials are increasingly interested in starting businesses that generate profits and make the world a better place. Social entrepreneurship is growing right along with the traditional entrepreneurship.

· $430 million for new direct lending and loan guarantee authorities to make loans more attractive to lenders and free up capital.

Higher Education: 64% of women and 60% of men go to college after graduating high school and 85% attend full-time making Generation Y the most educated generation in our nation’s history.

· Pell Grants: $15.6 billion to increase the maximum Pell Grant by $500, from $4,850 to $5,350.

· College Work-Study: $490 million to support undergraduate and graduate students who work.

· Student Loan Limit Increase: Increases limits on unsubsidized Stafford loans by $2,000.

· Student Aid Administration: $50 million to help the Department of Education administer surging student aid programs while navigating the changing student loan environment.

The Armed Forces: According to USA TODAY, the percentage of people ages 16 to 21 interested in joining the military has increased from 9% to 11% in the first half of last year. Additionally, 60 percent of Marines, 42 percent of Army and Navy and about 35 percent of the Air Force are younger than 25.

  • Over $7 billion in proposed facility renovations to defense and veteran facilities to increase to services to those currently in the armed forces and better care when they return.

Community Service: According to the National Conference on Citizenship, 56% of Millennials reported volunteering in the past year and more than 50% would be more involved if there were more opportunities.

  • $200 million to Americorps to expand by 16,000 members.
  • $1 billion to local organizations to increase their community service efforts.

Low income assistance: 17% of impoverished people in this country are under the age of 18 and as previously mentioned, millenials are hit hardest by unemployment and thus financial instability.

· $13 billion for grants to help disadvantaged kids in nearly every school district and more than half of all public schools reach high academic standards.

· $66 million for formula grants to states to provide services to homeless children including meals and transportation when high unemployment and home foreclosures have created an influx of homeless kids.

· $726 million to increase the number of states that provide free dinners to children and to encourage participation by new institutions by increasing snack reimbursement rates.

Read the executive summary here

Read the full document here