By LUCAS L. JOHNSON II
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- State lawmakers agree with a recent report that preparing Tennessee's youth to be more competitive in a tough job market requires a collaborative effort from different groups.
The report released earlier this week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count project showed fewer than one in four Tennessee youth ages 16 to 19 were working last year, and only about 60 percent ages 20 to 24 were employed.
It cited the economic downturn that has forced adolescents and young adults to compete for entry-level jobs that older, displaced workers are also seeking.
Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Delores Gresham said Tennessee has passed education reforms that should help students perform better in school and hopefully be more competitive in the workforce, but she said "everybody has to do their part."