Heller Profiles

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

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Gregg Weltz

USA • Director, Division of Youth Services, Department of Labor

MMHS '97

Putting People to Work: National Policy, Reform and Innovation

Gregg Weltz, MMHS '97, directs the Division of Youth Services at the Department of Labor, where he administers more than $1 billion in federal grants and programs for youth reaching every state and territory in the country.

Spring 2011

The current jobless situation is particularly harmful to young people. Gregg Weltz, MMHS '97, director of the Division of Youth Services at the Department of Labor, says it's the worst since the Great Depression. His work has become more important than ever.

Studies show that lack of work experience early in a person's life threatens future earnings potential. Also, if young people don't pick up the cultures and norms of the workplace in a summer job or entry-level job, they might never learn them, which could lead to lifelong challenges in the labor market. But today, those first jobs are increasingly difficult to find and qualify for.

"Today's first job is not like my father's first job or my grandfather's first job," says Weltz. "A high school diploma or less is not enough. You're not going to get a decent paying factory job for life; we're never going to go there again."

Weltz is doing his part to give young people a chance. He administers more than $1 billion in federal grants and programs for youth that reach every state and territory in the country. A self-described "kid at heart," Weltz has always been driven to help young people. He was a camp counselor, a swim instructor, an after-school sports coach and a teacher in Africa. It was a Presidential Management Internship that introduced him to the federal government, where he has served for almost 13 years. What he learned at the Heller School helps him every day.

"It's clear that there is no one solution," says Weltz. "It's a global problem."

Knowledge Advancing Social Justice

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