Article on HuffPuff: Is Obama missing the National Service Moment?
I've been saying for years now (presumably not on here yet, because I would be able to find a link) that we should have a mandatory 1(or 2)-year(s) of national service (which Jefferson was in favor of, btw).
The catch is that on the 18th birthday, you get a choice: Peace Corps (which my father was in during the 60s in Sierra Leone before it broke out in a FOUR!-way civil war), the AmeriCorps (or some derivative thereof that will help build the nation's infrastructure [read: RAIL] - cheap labor! WooHoo!), or the military.
Besides the cheap labor, it would certainly provide a platform for training a green-collared workforce of a generation that is well-known to be active in charitable organizations already.