Thursday, March 28, 2013

2013-03-21 News & Events

News & Events from JobsFirstNYC          
March 21, 2013  

Save the Date - April 9: Join the JobsFirstNYC Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project Planning Meeting

JobsFirstNYC is undertaking a new project to explore how sectoral employment approaches and practices can apply to young adult job seekers and benefit the employers this population. To our knowledge, this is the first such effort in the country.  

We have held several meetings with specific stakeholders who are interested in this work, and on April 9, from 9am-noon, we will hold a meeting to bring all the key groups together. The purpose of the meeting will be to talk about this new project, discuss how direct service workforce organizations, industry skills training providers, employer intermediaries, and employers might participate in this project and lay out the key phases of the project. As a key element of this project is to build collaborative approaches, this meeting will help interested organizations to identify potential partners. Learn more by downloading an overview of the project (PDF).

The Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project will include a planning and development period this year, and include two years of implementation. For this session, we are specifically seeking participation from executive directors and senior staff (people within organizations who are empowered to make organizational decisions) to join us.

You can RSVP for this meeting by contacting Gwen Hill at If you have general questions about the project, you can direct these to Lou Miceli at  

This initiative is supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Capital One Foundation, and the Pinkerton Foundation

JobsFirstNYC has been invited to submit a proposal to the Aspen Institute Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund
JobsFirstNYC was pleased to learn this week that we have been chosen along with 15 other groups nationally to apply to participate in a new incentive program - called the Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund (OYIF) to create better employment pipelines for young people that are out-of-school and out-of-work. You can learn more about this fund here.

We are the only New York City organization to receive such an invitation. Should we apply and be selected, this project will involve a year of planning and development and a two-year demonstration period. 

The purpose of OYIF is to demonstrate the positive impact of cross-sector collaboratives on the options and life outcomes of young adults (aged 16-24) who are disconnected from the education and workforce systems and seek new pathways to credentials and careers. The invitation is specifically focusing on the Bronx Opportunity Network (PDF), an existing collaboration among seven community-based organizations in the South Bronx that are serving out-of-school/work young adults in a college access and persistence program. 

In the coming days, we will be working with BON's leadership to consider this important opportunity, which will emphasize strategies to better engage and support aging-out foster care youth in terms of education and workforce services. We will keep you posted on further developments regarding this opportunity.
Save the Date - May 2nd - JobsFirstNYC, Community Service Society, and Fiscal Policy Institute to Release New Report

JobsFirstNYC is pleased to announce the forthcoming release of Barriers to Entry: The Increasing Challenges Faced by Young Adults in the New York City Labor Market. This report, authored by Lazar Treschan of the Community Service Society and James Parrott of the Fiscal Policy Institute, takes an in-depth look at both the supply and demand dimensions of the job market faced by New York City's 18-24 out-of-school/work population. The report examines the important trends within the New York City labor market specifically as they relate to young adults' ability to find and advance in jobs. The study also considers the key characteristics of young people, including demographics, where they live, their skills, and barriers they face to connecting to employment opportunities.

On May 2, we will bring together practitioners, funders, policy makers/influencers, employers and others to discuss the findings and implications of this important research. Stay tuned for further announcements.

Still Room to Register: Job Developer Networking Event on Tuesday, March 26
Job Developers' Networking Breakfast
Tuesday, March 26, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
at Sheraton Brooklyn, 228 Duffield Street
Register here
Next week's Job Developer's Networking breakfast (co-hosted by JobsFirstNYC & WPTI) will focus exclusively on how job developers can more effectively engage with employers in order to improve their own workforce development strategy and place more job seekers in quality jobs.

JobsFirstNYC will kick off the discussion by sharing recommendations from our report Going Beyond the Bottom Line: Employer Perspectives on the Young Adult Workforce Development System in New York City (PDF).

We will follow that with breakout sessions in which attendees will have time to engage with employer representatives from Modell's, Swiss Post Solutions, Benchmarc Restaurants, and Community Health Care Association of New York State who will share their unique perspectives on hiring practices, as well as tips for improving your employer relationships.

Contact Gwen Hill at with any questions.  
Join JobsFirstNYC's Employer Engagement Work Group on April 10, from 3-5 p.m.
This first meeting of 2013 will be hosted by the Consortium for Worker Education at 275 7th Avenue, 18th Floor, Manhattan.

We will be discussing JobsFirstNYC's work underway regarding the National Work Readiness Credential and online job applications, as well as identifying through group consensus the older young adult-issues JobsFirstNYC should be addressing in 2013.

All practitioners are welcome to attend. To RSVP, please contact Evelyn Fernandez-Ketcham at

Monday, March 18, 2013

2013-03-13 News & Events from JFNYC

News & Events from JobsFirstNYC
March 13, 2013  

Please Join us for these Upcoming JobsFirstNYC Events

Job Developers' Networking Breakfast 
March 26th, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
at Sheraton Brooklyn, 228 Duffield Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

JobsFirstNYC and Workforce Professionals Training Institute are co-hosting a networking breakfast specifically for people working in a direct service capacity and whose primary job is to work with employers and job seekers. For this event, front line staff will be joined by several NYC employers, who will share their experiences working with workforce organizations, and tips for effectively engaging employers to enhance and improve your job placement strategy.

JFNYC & WPTI are pleased to offer this opportunity to the field at no-cost, but we do require all attendees to register in advance of the event. Please click here to register.

If you have registration questions, please contact Saki Mori at WPTI at 646-278-5685 or at


JFNYC Employer Engagement Work Group
April 10th, 3-5 p.m.
Hosted by Consortium for Worker Education (CWE) - 275 7th Avenue
(at 25th Street), 18th Floor

This work group serves as a safe, neutral space where practitioners focused on the workforce and education needs of young adults can convene, share best practices, learn about trends in the field, and collaborate.

This first meeting of 2013 will include:
  • an overview of JFNYC's reports and its work moving forward in 2013
  • research report on the National Work Readiness Credential
  • the development of a research report on online applications.  
  • we will also solicit consensus from those in attendance regarding pressing issues in the field related to employment and older youth.   
This group meets quarterly and all are welcome to attend. To RSVP, please contact Evelyn Fernandez-Ketcham at or at 646-738-5677.


CBO Network Meeting - Save the Date!
Tuesday, April 16th, 9-11:30 a.m. at Macaulay Honors College
Registration will open next week. Stay tuned!

Update on the New York State High School Equivalency Diploma Assessment

Last week, New York State Education Department Commissioner John B. King, Jr. announced that the Department intends to execute a contract with CTB/McGraw-Hill to develop a new New York State High School Equivalency Diploma assessment to replace the General Educational Development (GED) test.

This alternative examination--the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC)--will save the state money while at the same time continuing to serve the young adult and adult test-takers seeking to earn their high school equivalency diploma. The new assessment will be operational on January 2, 2014.

Read NYSED's full press release for more details.

To gain a fuller understanding of the important implications of this announcement, see CLASP's article "New York's Move to Abandon the GED® is a Game Changer".
As a reminder, if you are currently working with a 17-24 year old New York City resident who has taken the GED® test before and is close to passing, act now to get them back on track to earn their high school equivalency diploma before the new assessment comes on line in 2014. Visit the GED® Compass site or call 718-557-2525 for all the information and resources needed to help a young person re-connect and earn their HSE diploma this year.  

GED 2013 Campaign to Finish  

Click here to download and listen to the official PSA (MP3 format) for the GED® Campaign to Finish.   

The Campaign to Finish was launched in February by the Fund for Public Advocacy in partnership with a coalition of CBO's and City agencies.  

New Strategy Paper: "Re-Envisioning the New York City Workforce System"

As the race heats up for the 2013 mayoral election, prominent local workforce practitioners -- including JobsFirstNYC's own Deputy Executive Director, Evelyn Fernandez-Ketcham -- have come together to propose real reforms for the next mayor to strengthen New York City's workforce system.

Entitled Re-Envisioning the New York City Workforce System, the document identifies structural reforms and concrete strategies to reshape the city's $400 million workforce system.  Below is the press release.  Visit the Re-Envisioning website,, to access the full document or an executive summary, or to add your own endorsement to the recommendations. 

"Our next mayor will have a unique opportunity to deliver on the promise of job creation, but only by redesigning our workforce system so that it serves the needs of workers and businesses."  -  Steven Dawson, New York City Workforce Strategy Group

(New York, NY-March 13, 2013) - The New York City Workforce Strategy Group released today a document entitled Re-Envisioning the New York City Workforce System that lays out an entirely new framework for how the next mayor of New York City could deliver on the promise of job creation, by redesigning the city's $400 million workforce system.  The 32-page document, which sets out redesign principles and architecture with ten concrete recommendations for a new workforce system, was created by some of the city's more experienced workforce practitioners and employers. The goal of the document is to present a vision of workforce development that can inspire debate among all mayoral candidates, and the public, leading up to New York City's Fall 2013 election.

With New York City's unemployment rate above 9%, the next mayor will need to make job creation for all New Yorkers a top priority. Job creation is driven by both economic development (helping start new companies and expand existing businesses), as well as workforce development (job training for workers as well as helping businesses access New York City's talent pool). The city can play a central role in supporting both-creating good jobs across all five boroughs.

Re-Envisioning the New York City Workforce System was created with support from the New York City Workforce Funders, a collaborative of funders that invests annually more than $50 million in the city's workforce system, and The Clark Foundation.  Members of the Workforce Strategy Group included practitioner, employer and union leaders from SEIU 1199, JobsFirstNYC, Per Scholas, PHI, LaGuardia Community College and others.

"Our next mayor will have a unique opportunity to deliver on the promise of job creation, but only by redesigning our workforce system so that it serves the needs of workers and businesses," said Steven Dawson, co-chair of the Workforce Strategy Group and strategic advisor to PHI, affiliated with a homecare employer in the South Bronx that employs 2,200 people. "He or she will have to address head-on the structural challenges of our current system with an integrated set of structural solutions.  We're calling for a 21st-Century labor-market driven workforce development system, built on ten solid recommendations." 

The recommendations set out in the Re-Envisioning document include, among others:   

  • Appoint a "job czar" who reports directly to the mayor. The job czar will oversee all workforce resources in the city under one office, bring accountability to workforce programs and coordinate a unified system for job creation with economic development agencies and organizations. 
  • Establish a network of nonprofit workforce partnerships responsible for coordinating funding streams and putting programs into practice.
  • Realign financing to reward long-term job outcomes, so that more workers stick with jobs once they are placed in them and learn the skills they need for jobs in growth industries.
  • Design a universal system of program assessment and information management, to eliminate redundancy and help programs make informed decisions about what works to create jobs.
  • Create a formal Council of Workforce Advisors made up of foundations, businesses, unions and non-profit organizations to advise the mayor on creating a 21st-Century training and employment system for all five boroughs of New York City.  

"Every year, foundations, unions, government agencies and non-profit organizations spend more than $400 million on workforce development programs," said David LaGreca, co-chair of the Strategy Group and executive director of VCG Governance Matters, which strengthens nonprofits by creating stronger boards of directors. "Yet despite these resources, workers and businesses often get lost in a bureaucratic shuffle, with dozens of agencies and organizations working at cross purposes. There is very little accountability and coordination-or even shared data. We can and must do better."

Workforce development is a critical yet overlooked factor in job creation and retention, with programs that help workers and employers in the following ways:   

  • Job training - teaching workers skills they need for jobs in growth industries
  • Worker / Employer matching - connecting the right worker with the right employer
  • Employee support - helping workers keep jobs and be successful in them
  • Career development - providing new, on-the-job skills to benefit both workers and employers 
  • Job redesign - re-thinking how workers can become more efficient and productive  

"Our current workforce system, though improved over the past few years, is still siloed in its funding and fragmented in program delivery," said Evelyn Fernandez-Ketcham, a member of the Strategy Group and Deputy Executive Director of JobsFirst NYC, which brings out-of-school and out-of-work young adults into the economic life of New York City.  "The mayoral candidates are not alone in failing to understand what an asset the workforce system can be.  We hope our Re-Envisioning document shows clearly how the next mayor could make the changes needed and be supported by an invested philanthropic leadership and a creative workforce community.  We stand ready to assist." 

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Members of the New York City Workforce Strategy Group are available to discuss the Re-Envisioning document.  Please contact Geoffrey Knox at 212-229-0540 and