Thursday, May 31, 2012

5-31-2012 Important Updates from JobsFirstNYC

Important Updates from JobsFirstNYC         May 31, 2012   

Registration is underway for two upcoming JFNYC events: the Job Developer Networking Breakfast on June 19th, and the CBO Network Meeting on July 10th.  Please find registration details for both events below.

Additionally, JobsFirst is pleased to share with the field a new report from the Center for an Urban Future, "Now Hiring", which was commissioned and fully funded by JobsFirstNYC. A link to the full report can be found below.
Registration is Underway for the June 19th Job Developers' Networking Breakfast
We are now accepting RSVPs for the next Job Developers' Networking Breakfast, co-sponsored and co-hosted by JobsFirstNYC & WPTI.

The event will take place on June 19th from 8:30-10 AM in downtown Brooklyn. 

This event will afford job developers and front-line workforce staff the opportunity to network with their peers, re-energize their work by sharing best practices with colleagues, and provide feedback on the nitty-gritty day-to-day work you do to the staff of JFNYC and WPTI.  We hope you will join us.

This opportunity is offered to you at no-cost. However, registration is required; please click here to register.  We look forward to seeing you at this event!

If you have trouble registering, please contact Saki Mori at
The Next CBO Networking Meeting is Scheduled for July 10th
Registration is now open for the next quarterly JobsFirstNYC CBO Network Meeting!

The Macaualy Honors College at CUNY has graciously offered to host this event, which will take place on Tuesday, July 10th, from 9-11:30 AM. As with past meetings, the first half-hour will be reserved for open practitioner networking.

The tentative agenda for this meeting includes discussions of the following issues and how they affect disengaged young adults:
  • Credentials for young adults: what readily available credentials are available that can help young adults gain a foothold in the labor market
  • The use of the National Work Readiness Credential (NWRC) in NYC-funded young adult programs
  • The "new" GED exam: proposed reform measures and the need for an advocacy campaign
A more detailed agenda will follow in the coming weeks.

Please take a minute to register for the July 10th quarterly meeting by clicking here
"Now Hiring" Report Released Today by the Center for an Urban Future
The Center for an Urban Future (CUF) released a new publication today, "Now Hiring", which was commissioned and fully funded by JobsFirstNYC, and which spotlights 26 growing occupations in seven economic sectors - office/administrative, healthcare, property maintenance, transportation, telecommunications/utilities, retail and hospitality - open to young New Yorkers with limited education.

The report highlights 26 occupations that are projected to experience growth through 2018, and that also require little formal training, are available to workers that posses only a high school diploma, high school equivalency diploma, or less, and which pay a median annual wage of at least $25,000 or can lead fairly directly to opportunities for advancement.

While highlighting this potential for moving a significant number of older young adults into the economic mainstream, the authors point out that making the most of these opportunities will require new policies and strategies from both policymakers and nonprofit workforce developers; this work will be aided by the thoughtful, targeted coordination and support of intermediaries like JobsFirstNYC.

Read CUF's press release announcing the publication of "Now Hiring."

Download the full "Now Hiring" report and the "Now Hiring" job index, which breaks down the 26 occupations highlighted in the report.

We've Moved! JobsFirstNYC has new offices. Our new address and main telephone number are:

11 Park Place, Suite 1602
New York, NY 10007
(T) 646.738.5674

Now Hiring report released

JobsFirstNYC is pleased to announce the release today of a new report by the Center for an Urban Future (CUF).  This report, entitled "Now Hiring", was commissioned and fully funded by JobsFirstNYC.  Please read the press release from CUF below.  

The full report is also available for download on our website by clicking here


From the Center for an Urban Future -

For Immediate Release:

May 31, 2012 – The Center for an Urban Future, a Manhattan-based think tank, today published a new report which identifies more than two dozen occupations in New York City that are expected to have ample job openings in the years ahead which pay decent salaries and which are accessible to young adults with limited levels of educational attainment. The study, titled “Now Hiring,” details 26,000 job openings a year for much of the next decade in 26 occupations—from paratransit driver and medical assistant to bill collector and bank teller—that older young adults in New York could realistically fill.  

The report, which was funded by JobsFirstNYC, a nonprofit intermediary focused on reconnecting young adults to the economy, offers a glimmer of hope for young adults in New York at a time when the current job outlook for young New Yorkers who lack a college degree appears particularly bleak. The city’s overall unemployment rate is 9.5 percent, the teen unemployment rate is around 30 percent and the young adults with low levels of educational attainment and limited work experience are among those who are having the hardest time finding decent paying jobs. Overall fewer young people are in the labor force today than at any time since World War II.

“Too many young adults from low-income backgrounds in New York aren’t working or are stuck in dead-end, low wage jobs,” says Jonathan Bowles, executive director of the Center for an Urban Future. “But there is some good news out there. Thanks to expected growth in a number of sectors that have low barriers to entry, there is a clear opportunity to get more of these young people on the path to decent paying jobs.”

The report specifically focused on occupations that pay decent wages and offer some chance for advancement. Indeed, 22 of the 26 occupations identified in the report, with an estimated combined total of nearly 15,000 openings annually, pay a median wage of at least $25,000. In contrast, an entry-level home health aide in New York City earns $17,360 on average. The other 11,000 entry-level openings are in four retail and hospitality sector occupations that we included because they provide crucial work experience and training to young people who have been, at best, sporadically employed.

The growing occupations identified in the report include:
  • Paratransit Drivers - The rapid growth in the number of New Yorkers over the age of 65 had led to a dramatic increase in the number of paratransit vehicles that shuttle older adults and the disabled to doctor’s appointments, nursing homes and other destinations. Ridership on Access-a-Ride vehicles grew by 15 percent a year between 2005 and 2009. With the city’s elderly population expected to grow faster in the decades ahead (the number of New Yorkers aged 65 and over is expected to grow 35 percent by 2030), a Metropolitan Transportation Authority paratransit official told us they expect annual ridership growth of seven or eight percent going forward. We estimate that there will be as many as 600 job openings a year for paratransit drivers across the city.
  • Medical Assistants, Certified Nurse Aides & Pharmacy Technicians - In healthcare, the aging of the population and the realignment of healthcare delivery away from acute care and toward outpatient care is boosting demand for medical assistants in clinics, certified nurse aides in non-hospital settings and pharmacy technicians in drug stores. The NY State Department of Labor projects that by 2018, the number of pharmacy technicians, at a median salary of $34,530, is expected to increase upwards of 30 percent while medical assistant jobs, with a median salary of $32,360, will grow by 21 percent.
  • Bank tellers - While many New Yorkers are less than thrilled with new banks sprouting up across the city—the number of branches increased from 452 to 694 over the past decade—these new branches have created hundreds of teller positions that pay $12 to $15 an hour and do not require a college degree. The State Department of Labor projects continued employment growth in this.
  • Bill Collectors - The personal financial crises many New Yorkers are experiencing in the difficult economy have also had an upside—positions for bill collectors are expected to grow 8.6 percent by 2018 and offer a median salary of over $40,000, with only short-term on-the-job training required.
  • Office Clerks - Demand for an average of 4,620 office clerks a year is projected through 2018. Although a significant share is expected to come from employment growth, most of these openings will result from turnover among the 232,350 workers currently in office clerk positions. Office clerks earn median wages of $28,000 to $42,000 depending on their title. Only a high school diploma or High School Equivalency (such as a GED) is required to start.
  • In property maintenance there is an average of 1,700 openings a year for janitors with a median salary of $30,870 and 700 openings a year for general maintenance and repair workers with a mean salary of $45,060
  • The utilities workforce in NYC is getting older and a large number of utilities workers are nearing retirement, which will create opportunities for younger workers. In 2010, 20.1 percent of New York City utility sector workers were age 55 to 64, which is substantially higher than their share of the general working populace. One official from a local utility union told us he expects an “exodus” of older workers retiring from the utility industry in the coming years.
The report, written by Margaret Stix and Glenn von Nostitz, also finds that retail jobs are particularly important for young adults with limited educational attainment. We were not initially planning to include opportunities in the retail and hospitality sectors, based on the widely held belief that they offered dead-end jobs with low wages. However, directors of the city’s Workforce1 Career Centers and workforce development practitioners that we interviewed made us take a second look after they pointed out how these sectors offer a crucial foothold in the job market for youth with lower educational attainment and minimal work experience. Since 1990, the city’s retailers have added 38,700 jobs, a 15 percent increase, to more than 300,000 positions. NYSDOL projects that through 2018 there will be 6,200 openings a year in retail salesperson and cashier jobs in NYC.  These jobs typically offer low starting salaries but offer many other benefits to youth trying to enter the workforce. In particular, the flexibility of retail work schedules makes it suitable for young people who want to combine work with school. Jobs in these occupations also help young people who have been, at best, sporadically employed build a stable work record.

The study concludes that while there is a unique opportunity for helping New York’s young adults gain a foothold in the workforce, taking advantage of this will require new strategies and policies from both city policymakers and the private and nonprofit workforce development providers who work with this population. The report recommends everything from helping more young adults in New York obtain a driver’s license, which surprisingly has provided a key barrier to many young people getting jobs, to creating sectoral workforce programs that are geared to young adults. Currently, most of the sector-based workforce development programs are currently focused on adults.

The Center for an Urban Future is an independent and non-partisan think tank based in Manhattan that publishes studies about how to grow and diversify New York City’s economy and how to expand economic opportunity. The Center has written extensively about workforce development issues and the youth employment crisis in New York.

Click here (PDF) for the full “Now Hiring” report.

Click here (PDF) for a link to our “Now Hiring” job index, which breaks down the 26 occupations we highlight in the report.  (Also available in PNG format.) 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The world is not our oyster

In our focus on the unemployment crisis in New York City, it's easy to forget that young people everywhere face tremendous challenges accessing the labor market.  But a new study by the Geneva-based International Labour Organization (ILO) shows that young New Yorkers are not alone:

  • Globally, one in eight young people will be unemployed this year. That adds up to 75 million jobless youths between the ages of 15 and 24.
  • The worldwide youth unemployment rate has risen by six percent since 2007, at the start of the Great Recession, to reach 12.7 percent this year.  This rate is not expected to improve in the next four years given current economic projections.
  • Youth unemployment is worst in the Middle East and North Africa, where one in four youths are unemployed. Young people have the best chance of finding a job in South Asia, where just one in 12 youths are unemployed.
  • The recession has hit young people in rich countries the hardest, with the number of unemployed youths in wealthy countries spiking 27 percent between 2008 and 2011.  The youth unemployment rate has reached a staggering 51 percent in Greece and in Spain, two of the countries most affected by the austerity mandates of the Eurozone.
  • Many young people who are employed find themselves stuck in temporary, part-time, or low-productivity work, which diminishes their earnings prospects. About 30 percent of European youths are trapped in part-time jobs, according to the report.  (In the United States, a recent Rutgers study revealed (PDF), half of all recent college graduates in the U.S. lack a full-time job, and nearly half of the recent college graduates that are employed are working in jobs that don't require a college degree.  Many recent graduates find themselves forced into multiple part-time jobs to avoid defaulting on tens of thousands of dollars in student debt accrued for degrees that have not led to employment.)

The ILO calls on governments to take a number of actions to improve the outlook for young adults:

  • Macroeconomic and growth policies: where fiscally feasible, it is crucial to maintain or enhance measures that can help boost employment generation and jump-start a sustainable jobs recovery. Youth employment is a rising priority in national policy agendas but often it is not sufficiently translated into scaled up programmes, funding is often limited and resources underestimated.
  • Active labour market policies and programmes: active labour market measures such as development of public employment services, wage and training subsidies or tax cuts can motivate employers to hire young people as well as to counteract the excess supply of young workers in times of crisis. Equally important are programmes that aim to offset the mismatch of technical skills among youth, such as vocational training programmes, re-training of unemployed or discouraged youth, workplace training schemes, the creation or improvement of apprenticeship systems, entrepreneurship training programmes, soft and life skills training programmes for disadvantaged youth.
  • Better strategies are needed to improve social protection for young people, and to tailor labour market reforms for their specific needs. Decent employment is not only about generating any jobs, but also about improving the quality of jobs.
  • Social dialogue and partnerships for youth employment: the establishment of broad-based partnerships to turn commitment to youth employment into reality. Partnerships among governments, employers’ organizations, trade unions and other organizations can be instrumental in determining the most appropriate action to be taken at national and local levels for the promotion of decent work for young people.
  • Supporting strong labour market information and analysis systems which provide the basis to monitor labour markets and design and implement effective policies.

Please check out our Strategic Plan and Logic Model for more information on how JobsFirst NYC is promoting similar solutions at the local, regional and national level.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

NYPD Stop And Frisks: 15 Shocking Facts About A Controversial Program

For many years, the New York Police Department (NYPD) has led the nation in warrentless "stop-and-frisk" searches of individuals, with 685,724 stops in 2011 (an increase of 14 percent from 2010, and up from just 97,296 stop-and-frisks in 2002).  The city has long defended the practice as vital to removing illegal firearms from the streets -- frisks are supposed to occur only when an officer reasonably suspects that a person has a weapon that might endanger officer safety -- but only 1.9 percent of frisks actually turn up a weapon.

A new report from the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), which sued the NYPD to get access to stop-and-frisk data in 2007, reveals the extensive disparity in who gets stopped and where.  Not surprisingly, young men of color and those living in poor, heavily minority neighborhoods, face the brunt of police activity.  (In fact, the numbers show that more young black men were stopped by the NYPD in 2011 than there are young black men in New York City!)

The result: increasing distrust of the police, a pervasive sense that society does not respect the rights of minorities, and more criminal charges levied against young people for minor crimes such as loitering and disorderly conduct with the subsequent barriers to employment and education that a criminal record presents.

The Huffington Post has neatly summarized the top 15 most surprising findings from the NYCLU report:

  1. "In Brownsville, Brooklyn In 2009, 93 Out Of Every 100 Residents Were Stopped By The NYPD"
  2. The NYPD Can Stop And Frisk You In Your Building
  3. A Hugely Disproportional Number Of Blacks And Latinos Are Stopped And Frisked By The NYPD
  4. The NYPD Is Stop-And-Frisk Happy
  5. More Young Black Men Were Stopped By The NYPD In 2011 Than There Are Young Black Men in New York City
  6. The NYPD Can Was Allowed To Stop And Frisk You In A Livery Cab
  7. The NYPD Uses Force Against Black And Latinos More Than Whites
  8. With Huge Increase In Stop And Frisks, Only Minor Increase In Guns Found
  9. Small Percentage Actually Involved In Violent Crime
  10. NYPD Will Stop You For 'Inappropriate Attire Off Season'
  11. Many Stops Are Unconstitutional
  12. The Vast Majority Of Those Stopped Are Innocent
  13. Whites Are Almost Twice As Likely To Be Found With A Weapon 
  14. The NYPD Faces Numerous Stop And Frisk Lawsuits 
  15. Stop And Frisks Don't Always Drive Down Murder Statistics
See young black Brooklyn residents talking about their experiences with stop-and-frisk searches in the video below:

[Update]: Earlier this week, a US federal judge gave class-action status to a lawsuit by people who had been stopped, ruling that there was "overwhelming evidence" the practice has led to thousands of illegal stops. In response, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly announced yesterday that the department will be instituting changes to officer training and supervision on how to conduct a lawful stop.  It remains to be seen whether these changes will have a meaningful impact on actual police practice.

May 15, 2012: News & Updates from JFNYC

Join us to Network & Share Ideas with your Job Developer Colleagues
6.19 JD Networking event Flyer
JobsFirstNYC and WPTI are pleased to announce the date for our next Job Developers' Networking Breakfast.  The event will take place on June 19th from 8:30-10a.m. in downtown Brooklyn.

As with our past Networking Breakfasts, registration is required; click here to register.  We look forward to seeing you at this event!
National Work Readiness Credential (NWRC) Survey
JobsFirst is soliciting the feedback of workforce practitioners on how they are implementing this national credential in their daily work. 

JobsFirstNYC has prepared a confidential survey to collect information concerning the cost of adopting the NWRC, the ease or difficulty in adapting your work readiness curriculum, the number of persons that your organization prepared for the exam and the number of people who passed it.

If you have not already, please take a few minutes to share your impressions of and/or experience with implementing the NWRC by taking our short survey.

Your input is valuable and will inform our presentation to NYSDOL regarding concerns with how the NWRC may effect workforce practitioners and youth in NYC.

Save the Dates!
Save the date for these additional upcoming JobsFirstNYC meetings:

June 13th, 9:30-11:30am - Community Advisory Council Meeting

June 22nd, 3:30-5pm - Employer Engagement Work Group Meeting

DATE CHANGED - The next CBO Network Meeting has been rescheduled for July 10th from 9-11am

Details on locations, agendas and registration details will be announced in subsequent e-newsletters.  To learn more about these meetings, visit the new events page on our website.

Stay tuned for an announcement of the dates for our next Meet the Employers event, along with the launch event for our new publications!

We've Moved! JobsFirstNYC has new offices. Our new address and main telephone number are:

11 Park Place, Suite 1602
New York, NY 10007
(T) 646.738.5674

Monday, May 7, 2012

Summer Jobs+ Bank is now LIVE!

Last week the US Dept. of Labor announced that its centralized database of seasonal opportunities for youth, called Summer Jobs+, has gone live.  Summer Jobs+ is the result of a White House "call-to-action" convening held in January 2012 (and attended by JFNYC's own Evelyn Fernandez-Ketcham) that brought together business, non-profit, and government leaders to discuss how to increase pathways to employment for low-income and disconnected youth in the summer of 2012.

The Summer Jobs+ initiative asks businesses to choose at least one of the following three pathways to employment for low-income youth:

  • Life Skills: Provide youth work-related soft skills, such as communication, time management and teamwork, through coursework and/or experience. This includes resume writing or interview workshops and mentorship programs. 
  • Work Skills: Provide youth insight into the world of work to prepare for employment. This includes job shadow days and internships.  
  • Learn and Earn: Provide youth on-the-job skills in a learning environment while earning wages for their work.

The Summer Jobs+ Bank is not a separate job listing site, per se, but rather collates job openings from online job banks and participating corporate websites through a custom Google search to enable finding open positions in one convenient location.  Try it out below: