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Economic Council

The Council's Mission: To assess, develop, and support implementation of sustainable economic structures which honor the human right to have a job and a living wage.

Initial Project: AMERICAN JOBS FOR AMERICA’S YOUTH: A Montana Proposal to the Nation

Report and recommendations will be released during Fall, 2017.


Establish full-time, living wage job opportunities in the public and private sectors for every young person ready, able and looking for work.
Enhance high school and college work-related skills/employability training without compromising schools’ core civic educational mission.
•Expand work-study, paid apprenticeships, public service work opportunities, and peer, professional and community-based mentoring capacity.


We all know a simple truth: Young people need a job to move successfully along life’s path; to earn self-respect and that of their community; to learn responsibility, discipline, the satisfying feeling of work well done. To raise and support a family.

Annually, 3 million young Americans graduate high school with about 600,000 having dropped out. And unemployment among young Americans, 16-24 is often 20%. That won’t work.

Friends of Francis (FoF) is a non-denominational not-for-profit, founded and based in Helena, Montana. Our mission: To unite people across the globe–of differing faiths and beliefs–in implementing central elements of the moral vision of Pope Francis. He has emphasized that a core purpose of our economy needs to be living wage jobs for every young person looking for work. Friends of Francis says: Let’s see if we can do that!

And we thought, “Let’s take the first step right now in Montana!” We’re a human-scale community that knows how to roll up our sleeves, to work together and get things done. We’re farmers, teachers, ranchers, business folks, union members, construction workers, conservationists, loggers, sales clerks, nurses, professionals, retired folks, university staff, public employees… Together, we’re Montana.

Starting in 2015, we talked with civic, labor, business, academic, and religious leaders. They agree: Let’s do something. So we established Working Groups to explore different pieces of the puzzle, from how well we prepare our kids in school, to how to build a practical and principled commitment to our young people from all employment sectors. Our goal: Develop an Action Plan that can lead to a national commitment to providing AMERICAN JOBS FOR AMERICA’S YOUTH.

Our 2-year effort has borne fruit. Being designed as you read this, the report will be released this fall.

We all know we face serious problems throughout our nation. So let’s start turning things around, together, with a life-changing commitment to our kids!

To quote Francis:  “A financial reform open to such ethical (economic) considerations would require a vigorous change of approach on the part of political leaders. I urge them to face this challenge with determination and an eye to the future, while not ignoring, of course, the specifics of each case. Money must serve, not rule! …I exhort you to generous solidarity and a return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favors human beings.”

Thank you!

The Friends of Francis Economic Council has accepted this challenge.

Appointment to the Economic Council is made by the FoF Board of Directors.