NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Taking aim at unemployment among younger Americans, Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday proposed using tax credits to encourage businesses to train young people.
Speaking at a technical college in South Carolina, Clinton proposed giving businesses a tax credit of $1,500 for each apprentice they hire. The program, she said, is focused on workers at all stages of life, not just high school students like the one who introduced her at the school.
"It also should be older workers," she said. "It should be for moms re-entering the workforce after raising their children, to be more independent. It should be for our veterans."
The May unemployment rate for workers age 18 to 34 was 7.8 percent, more than 2 percentage points higher than the national average, while unemployment for young black adults was 14.6 percent.
After her first big rally on Saturday in New York, Clinton has been touring early voting states laying out a child-centered rationale for her White House bid. She's promised to make "high-quality preschool" available for all 4-year-olds in 10 years, double federal money for early Head Start programs and seek a tax cut to help parents with the costs of raising children younger than 3.
Earlier in the day, Clinton stressed her commitment to children in rural areas, saying they should receive the same government benefits as children in urban centers.
"We need to start literally in infancy," Clinton told a crowd of several hundred in rural Orangeburg County.
Clinton's campaign said the tax credit proposal would require accountability for employment and earnings outcomes for businesses receiving the credit. Apprentices would need to be registered to be eligible.
Clinton presided over a similar project at her family's foundation called "Job One," which aimed to help young people ages 16-24 who were out of high school and unemployed. The initiative worked with companies like The Gap, JPMorgan Chase and Marriott to train and hire young people.
Lerer reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Ken Thomas in Washington contributed to this report.