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Young workers value volunteer opportunities

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Most young employees want to work for a company that allows them to apply their professional skills as a volunteer, but few believe their employers provide them with compelling options, a new study says.

Four in five of the employees interviewed for the 2007 Volunteer IMPACT survey by Deloitte & Touche USA, all between ages 18 and 26, are volunteers.

While virtually all say they believe companies should provide opportunities for their workers to contribute their professional talents to nonprofits, fewer than four in 10 say their employers give them such opportunities.

A strong volunteer program also can be a recruiting tool, the study says, with almost two in three employees saying they would prefer to work at such a company.

However, only one in four employees surveyed say their employers mentioned community-outreach efforts during the hiring process.

“Companies that facilitate meaningful community involvement opportunities for their people will be very attractive employers,” Stan Smith, national director of Next Generation Initiatives at D&T, says in a statement.

Three in four respondents say they volunteer in order to have an impact on their communities or to satisfy a personal desire, the study says, and eight in 10 believe their skills can benefit the nonprofit sector.

Four in five also believe volunteering helps improve their own leadership and professional skills.

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