As troubling as unemployment is across Charlotte, it's even worse for teens and young adults.
Julius Wright knows firsthand.
“Four or five of my friends don't have jobs,” Wright said. “I don’t got anything lined up yet.”
It's exactly the problem a group of leaders is trying to address. On Monday, the group Men Who Care announced an initiative to help train and provide jobs for young African-Americans in Charlotte who have little training or opportunity.
“We all know if we don't find a way to get these kids to have a stake in our community, it's going to cost us one way or another,” said Ron Leeper with Men Who Care.
In northwest Charlotte's predominantly black Hidden Valley area, neighborhood president Sam Love said whole communities are impacted when opportunities for jobs are scarce.
“Idle minds are the devil's workshop. So if they have nothing to do, what do you expect from them?” Love said.
The plan announced Monday has about two dozen business partners so far, including Coca Cola, the Charlotte Knights and Leeper's construction firm that's helping build the team's new uptown stadium.
Urban League CEO Patrick Graham said if the program can expand, it will benefit all of Charlotte.
“Then you're really investing in them, and it allows them to become human capital in this community,” Graham said.