Monday, April 24, 2017

Place-Based Initiative: Bedford-Stuyvesant

On Tuesday, April 18th JobsFirstNYC partnered with Council Member Robert Cornegy's office to hold a town hall meeting for workforce providers and stakeholders focused on District 36, comprised of Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn exploring workforce and career options for out-of-school, out-of-work young adults in the District. JobsFirstNYC found that Bedford-Stuyvesant continues to be one of the 18 communities in NYC with the highest concentration of out-of-work, out-of-school young adults. First identified in our 2013 publication, Barriers to Entry,and again in our 2017 our briefing, "Declines in New York City's Out-of-School, Out-of-Work Young Adult Population...But Numbers Remain High", the community now ranks as number two on the list. Although Bedford-Stuyvesant has experienced overall economic improvements, these numbers remain stubbornly high and an intervention is necessary to ensure the young people of the district benefit from the development it is undergoing.

This town hall, the first of a number planned for 2017, featured presentations by Council Member Cornegy; Stefani Zinerman, the Council Member's Chief of Staff; the JobsFirstNYC team; Lazar Treschan, Director of Youth Policy at the Community Service Society, and a panel featuring Oma Holloway, Director of Community Engagement for MYBASE at Bridge Street Development Corporation and Chair of the Education and Youth Services Committee for Brooklyn Community Board 3; Doriga Alves, Vice President of Career Management for the Transportation Diversity Council; and Roger Green, Professor, Medgar Evers College and Coalition to Transform Interfaith Medical Center. 

JobsFirstNYC's Place-Based Initiatives focus on creating access to economic opportunities through the development of collaborative, local-level partnerships between community-based organizations, educational institutions, businesses, government, and other stakeholders to improve connections to jobs, strengthen local relationships, align community improvement strategies, and leverage resources across all systems to improve the lives of young adults who are out of school and out of work.

Over the last ten years, JobsFirstNYC has partnered with local communities to develop and sustain several place-based partnerships, including employer-facing networks to improve the way workforce organizations engage with and provide services to employers and college access networks to increase college enrollment and completion. One of the earliest examples of this strategy is best represented through the Lower East Side Employment Network, but others also include Youth WINS in Staten Island and the myriad of sector-based partnerships presently operating through the Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project. In the Bronx, we have been working to improve college completion rates for young people through the Bronx Opportunity Network.

Friday, April 21, 2017

JobsFirstNYC Announces New Executive Director

The JobsFirstNYC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that after three years of leadership in the role of deputy executive director, Marjorie Parker has been appointed as Executive Director of JobsFirstNYC, effective July 1, 2017. Over the course of her career, Marjorie has held leadership roles in nonprofit, government, and management consulting. During her time at JobsFirstNYC, Marjorie has overseen the implementation of several major initiatives, spearheading the organization’s partnership development, policy and advocacy efforts, and employer engagement work. The board of directors and staff have long admired her passion, focus, professionalism, and informed counsel on the organization’s mission to connect young adults to the economic life of New York City.

“As JobsFirstNYC enters our tenth year, we could not have a more principled and thoughtful leader to direct the next phase of our work. Over the past three years, we have experienced the weight of Marjorie’s commitment and determination. Marjorie’s strong ties to local communities, deep understanding of economic and workforce development, and unwavering dedication to young adults makes her the right leader to harness the potential of the organization,” said Alan Momeyer, JobsFirstNYC’s Board Chair.

“I thank the board of directors for the immense honor to lead JobsFirstNYC. This organization has remained steadfast in its commitment to young adults and to the field,” said Marjorie Parker. “Through support from Lou [Miceli], the team here, and many of you, I am excitedly looking ahead. In my role, I will continue our work of improving economic and educational outcomes for young adults by supporting successful practices, developing innovative newapproaches, and collaborating closely with the field to create community- and systems-level change.”

JobsFirstNYC was established in 2007 by private funders to improve workforce prospects for young adults. JobsFirstNYC has become a national leader in expanding employer-driven approaches in New York City through the Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project and the Lower East Side Employment Network, among others, always in partnership with innovative direct service providers. The organization has expanded and adapted these efforts through a place-based, partnership-driven approach to engaging and effectively serving young adults in under-resourced communities like the North Shore of Staten Island, Central Brooklyn and the South Bronx. Regular policy, research and practice briefs like 
Innovations in the Field: the Bronx Opportunity Network and Optimizing Talent: The Promise and the Perils of Adapting Sectoral Strategies for Young Workers continue to highlight innovative approaches for improving outcomes for young adults. The Board of JobsFirstNYC is committed to continuing this important work under new leadership.

“Early and energetic employer engagement often gets too little attention in job training programs,” says Rick Smith of the Pinkerton Foundation. “JobsFirstNYC clearly understands the importance of involving employers from the start, and thanks to its efforts, many of our grantees are making real progress and producing real results for the young people they serve. We look forward to continuing our work with Marjorie and her team to build on those accomplishments.”

JobsFirstNYC was created, in part, to improve the way in which young adult workforce organizations serve both young people and employers. Certainly, through its various initiatives and programs, the organization has had a substantial and lasting impact on how workforce organizations go about their important work. We look forward to seeing how, under new leadership, the organization will continue to build on its successes,” says Charles Buice of the Tiger Foundation.

“We at JPMorgan Chase are pleased to have a productive partnership with JobsFirstNYC as we work together to strengthen the workforce field and to further align job training, economic development, and employer engagement efforts in New York City, and notably in places like the Bronx where rates of young adult disconnection remain stubbornly high,” said Jennie Sparandara, JPMorgan Chase Global Philanthropy.

“It’s been a tremendously rewarding experience to work at JobsFirstNYC and a privilege to collaborate with colleagues here and in the broader field. I am excited for the skills Marjorie brings to this work and for the next phase of the organization’s growth. I know I leave JobsFirstNYC in excellent hands,” stated Lou Miceli, who has served in the executive role since 2010. Lou will remain through June 30, 2017 and is assuming a promising new leadership role at a new organization in the fall.

We hope you will join us in congratulating Marjorie Parker. We look forward to hearing from you and learning from you in the coming weeks and months as Marjorie begins in her new role and continues to engage the field.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

What the President's Proposed Budget Would Mean for Young New Yorkers

The President’s FY 2018 Budget Blueprint: Implications for Workforce Development and Education in New York 

Last week, the White House released its budget blueprint for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The blueprint proposed budget cuts for federal spending on many of the education and workforce programs currently serving young New Yorkers. Additionally, it proposes cuts for several other New York City services that severely impact the economic prospects of young people and low-income residents in our city.

President Trump proposes a 21 percent decrease in funding to the Department of Labor (DOL).  According to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Democratic staff, this decrease in DOL funding would mean a 35 percent decrease in funding for job training and other employment services. A funding decrease of this magnitude would result in the loss of 140,000 employment training slots, as well as 5-7 million American workers and jobseekers losing access to supportive services, such as career counseling and case management. If these cuts extend to Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Grants to States (which support many of our state’s current programs for out-of-school young adults and sectoral programs), New York would have funding for 158,415 fewer WIOA participant slots than in FY 2017. Other workforce related proposals include:
  • Eliminating the Commerce Department’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program, which saved small- and medium-sized manufacturers in New York State more than $48 million dollars and helped them hire or retain more than 3,500 workers in 2015. The president also proposes to eliminate the Economic Development Administration (EDA) program grants and discretionary funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund both of which provide vital funding to create jobs, support small businesses, and expand economic opportunity in under-resourced communities in New York. Small businesses make up 99 percent of all businesses in New York State.
  • Eliminating funding to the Corporation for National and Community Service, which funds the AmeriCorps program. AmeriCorps currently offers 80,000 young Americans, including more than 5,000 young New Yorkers, work experience and training through service opportunities in their communities.
  • Eliminating the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) training grants program. Currently in New York State, all workers on publicly funded construction sites of at least $250,000 to complete the OSHA 10 hour construction course.
  • Closing a number of Job Corps centers, which provide free education and vocational training to young people ages 16 through 24. There is currently a Job Corps center in the South Bronx that also operates a Brooklyn satellite location. 
The President is proposing a 13 percent cut to funding for the Department of Education’s budget. These cuts would include at least a $4.6 billion decrease in funding for student financial aid, as well as significant cuts in Federal Work-Study funding. It would also result in a total decrease of $140 million from New York City schools and after-school programs. Included in the president’s budget blueprint are proposals to:
  • Remove $3.9 billion of Pell grant funding, which helps more than 7.7 million students afford college each year, including than 165,000 CUNY students. Moreover, his proposal would eliminate the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) program provides low-income students with need-based grants. In 2015-2016, more than 104,000 students in New York State received SEOG grants.
  • Eliminate the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which supports summer programs and before and after-school programs, and the Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program, or Title II of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which helps schools in low-income school districts hire and retain quality teachers. In New York, this would mean cuts of more than $87 million for before and after school and summer programs, and more than $184 million in cuts for teacher salaries.
  • Reduce funding for the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) by 10 percent, and funding for Federal TRIO Programs by 33 percent. GEAR UP provides post-secondary preparation and scholarships to low-income and first-generation students and TRIO helps low-income students, first generation students, and students with disabilities progress from middle school to college.
  • Decrease or eliminate federal funds for more than 20 other educational programs including Striving Readers, Teacher Quality Partnership, and International Education programs.

Community Block Grant Programs
The president proposes to eliminate the Community Development Block Grant program through the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Community Services Block Grant Program through the Department of Health and Human Services which contribute to (among other programs):
  • Free breakfast in New York City public schools, which was recently expanded to serve all 339,000 students at all of the city’s public elementary schools;
  • More than $5 million in job training through the NYC Department of Small Business Services;
  • Summer youth employment funding through NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, which serves approximately 60,000 young New Yorkers each year; and
  • Child care programs through the Administration for Children’s Services

Please read the full White House “budget blueprint” here:

Check out the links below for additional analyses of the President’s budget proposals and information on how his plans could affect young adults in New York City if approved by Congress. 

Find your legislators by zipcode here and let them know how important it is that they protect investments in education and employment for young New Yorkers.