\u0022The time is long overdue for us to start investing in our young people and help them get the jobs and education they need to be part of our economy and our society,\u0022 Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wrote in a\u0026nbsp;Mic\u0026nbsp;op-ed published\u0026nbsp;on Tuesday.\u0022Youth unemployment is one of the great crises facing our country...but it is one we rarely discuss in Washington.\u0022 —Sen. Bernie Sanders\u0022Youth unemployment is one of the great crises facing our country, impacting millions of young people and their families, but it is one we rarely discuss in Washington,\u0022 he added. Sen. Sanders used the article to explain a youth job bill (pdf) he is co-sponsoring with Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).Proud to work w @SenSanders on a solution to the overlooked crisis of youth unemployment. #JOBSJusticePeacevia @mic https://t.co/j31muo0jxB— John Conyers, Jr. (@RepJohnConyers) August 1, 2017\u0022It is time for our country to honor our duty to those young people who are struggling to find work,\u0022 said Rep. Conyers, when the legislation was announced. \u0022Tackling youth unemployment isn\u0026#039;t just good ethics. It\u0026#039;s good economics. Putting our youth to work will not only avoid anxiety, poverty, and broken dreams for young people, but will also provide needed tax revenue and reduce the need for social services.\u0022The proposed law would provide states and localities with $5.5 billion in immediate funding to employ a million American workers who are 16 to 24 years old, and support job training for hundreds of thousands more.\u0022These outrageously high rates of youth unemployment are not only unacceptable: They are having a tragic impact on our society.\u0022—Sen. SandersA large portion of the funding—$4 billion—would be issued as grants to state and local governments, to provide low-income youth with summer and year-round employment opportunities, as well as necessary services such as child care and transporation. The remaining $1.5 billion in grants would be issued to employers, community colleges, and local organizations, to provide young workers with apprenticeship programs and on-the-job training.Sen. Sanders\u0026#039;s Mic\u0026nbsp;op-ed pointed to data analyis from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), which recently found that even as the economy improves, young workers still struggle with unemployment and underemployment. As EPI senior economist Elise Gould\u0026nbsp;wrote\u0026nbsp;in July:Young workers, ages 16-24 years old, had an unemployment rate more than twice as high as prime-age (25-54 year old) workers (9.8 percent versus 4.0 percent) and nearly three times as high as older (55-64 year old) workers (3.3 percent).... More than 1-in-6 young workers are underemployed, more than twice the rate of prime-age workers (17.8 versus 8.0 percent). More than 1-in-4 young black workers (27.4 percent) and nearly 1-in-5 young Hispanic workers (19.0 percent) are underemployed.\u0026nbsp;\u0022These outrageously high rates of youth unemployment are not only unacceptable: They are having a tragic impact on our society,\u0022 Sen. Sanders\u0026nbsp;wrote\u0026nbsp;for\u0026nbsp;Mic, emphasizing the importance of his proposed legislation. \u0022The alternative is to allow the status quo to continue—to ignore the needs of these young people and others like them.\u0026nbsp;When our young people cannot find jobs, housing or income within mainstream society, it is no secret as to what happens.... Today, we spend some $80 billion a year to lock up our fellow Americans instead of investing in our young people, and in jobs and education for them.\u0022The troubling correlation between young Americans\u0026#039; employment struggles and mass incarceration is not a new issue for Sen. Sanders.\u0026nbsp;While campaigning for president in October 2015, he outlined for a large crowd full of cheering young people how the two issues are connected.\u0022It makes a lot more sense to me that we invest in jobs and education, not in jails and incarceration,\u0022 Sen. Sanders said in part of the 2015 speech captured by the New York Times.