Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2014-10-15, JobsFirstNYC News

Strengthening New York City's Youth Workforce System
A Message from Alan Momeyer, JobsFirstNYC Board President  

On Tuesday, October 7, 2014, JobsFirstNYC and Center for an Urban Future held a joint symposium on strengthening New York City's young adult workforce system. The symposium was well attended and brought together government officials, practitioners, business leaders, philanthropic leaders and policy experts to discuss specific steps that the de Blasio administration could take to get more young New Yorkers into good entry level jobs with good prospects for advancement and on the path to economic self-sufficiency.

The symposium highlighted and built upon the findings and recommendations of two reports, JobsFirstNYC's Unleashing the Economic Power of the 35 Percent and Center for an Urban Future's Bridging the Disconnect (PDF).
Both reports present the need to improve and restructure New York's young adult workforce development system, call for reforms to expand employment opportunities for New York City's young adults, and provide specific recommendations for moving in that direction.
The symposium opened with presentations of the two reports by the authors, Margaret Stix of Lookout Hill Public Policy Advocates and Christian Gonzalez of Center for an Urban Future, followed by a panel discussion of the reports' recommendations, moderated by David Fischer, JobsFirstNYC policy advisor. For the final portion of the convening, attendees broke into smaller groups to discuss recommendations and provide feedback during a facilitated strategy session.

JobsFirstNYC would like to express sincere appreciation to everyone who made this event a great success including: panelists Commissioner Bill Chong of the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development; Paul Ortega of Swiss Post Solutions and member of JobsFirstNYC's Employer Leadership Council; Angie Kamath, Per Scholas - awardee of JobsFirstNYC's YASEP initiative; Roderick Jenkins of The New York Community Trust; and, John Twomey of John Twomey Associates and Board Member of JobsFirstNYC. Thanks to Jonathan Bowles, Executive Director of Center for an Urban Future, Lou Miceli and the staff of both organizations for collaborating to raise awareness of this critical challenge faced by unemployed and underemployed young adults and the heavy lifting that will be needed to make important changes.

We hope that the recommendations of these two documents are resonating with City leadership. JobsFirstNYC will continue to work purposefully to raise awareness and push for systems change that will bring the 35 Percent of unemployed and underemployed 18- to 24-years-olds into the economic mainstream of New York City.

Making the Case for Sectoral Strategies:  Workforce Funders Hear from JobsFirstNYC and YASEP Partners

During the September 2014 meeting of the New York City Workforce Funders at the New York Community Trust, Lou Miceli and representatives from the Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project (YASEP) partnerships presented on why demand-side strategies are critical to improving employment outcomes for young adults. The partnerships also discussed their experiences in the design and implementation phases of YASEP.

"The sectoral strategies YASEP uses benefit employers but are also of great value to practitioners and the young adults they serve," said Lou Miceli. "Providers gain a deeper understanding of and relationships with employers for whom they're looking to prepare and support a workforce, often through collaborations with other providers. When employers have the opportunity to be clearer about what competencies young adults need to succeed for a sector-specific job, then young adults get more targeted training so they can be hired and then excel in those jobs." 

"Having Montefiore at the table as we designed the model has been critical to our success," said Dianne Morales, Executive Director and CEO of Phipps Neighborhoods, which launched the Career Network: Healthcare with Montefiore Medical Center and Hostos Community College in March 2014. "They helped us understand their needs as an employer, and worked closely with us to develop training to meet those needs. As part of the YASEP community, we have the opportunity to share our experience and learn from our colleagues doing this work in other sectors - it makes us all stronger and better able to serve both the employers and our young people."

JobsFirstNYC also presented the Workforce Funders with Innovations in the Field: Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project, a report that explains in depth the promises of sectoral strategies for training and employing young adults.

Resources for the Field

A new report takes an in-depth look at the retail industry's adoption of new
"lean" manufacturing practices to manage a part-time workforce is playing havoc with workers' lives. Short Shifted (PDF) looks at how scheduling relates to workers' daily experiences on the job, the effects of open availability requirements, and the challenges of managing income with unstable hours. Produced by the Retail Action Project and the Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, the report states that campaigns for higher wages must recognize that without full-time hours, a higher minimum wage is not enough to lift working families above poverty.

This report, prepared by Maher & Maher in collaboration with Jobs for the Future and the New York City Labor Market Information Service, investigates the value of using real-time labor market information. Given the growing need for accurate and specific information labor supply and demand, real-time LMI tools and systems can enhance services to job seekers and students and be valuable tools for data-driven decision-making in the workforce, education, and economic development systems.

Announced at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting in September, the Grads of Life campaign seeks to change employers' perceptions of young adults who are out of school and seeking work. The campaign's website offers tools to connect employers to employment pathways for young adults, including mentoring, school-to-workinternships, and hiring.

Upcoming Conferences

Washington, D.C., October 26 - 28  
This year, the Close It Summit will focus on four key issues - youth employment, skills and credentials in high demand fields, increasing access and opportunity to curriculum and training (Skill Up) and the critical importance of employability (soft) skills.

Washington D.C., February 25 - 26, 2015
The 2015 Opportunity Summit, Youth Employment: Pathways to Possibility, will convene business leaders, nonprofits, elected officials, and young people around the urgent crisis of youth unemployment and its impact on opportunity in America.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Upcoming Youth Employment Conferences

The youth employment crisis, squandering the potential of millions of young Americans, has attracted greater attention in recent months. Below are several upcoming conferences that will bring together a wide range of employers, policy makers, advocates and other stakeholders to explore the various issues and -- hopefully -- develop concrete solutions that will get young adults working.

NOTE: JobsFirstNYC is NOT involved in organizing any of the conferences below.

Youth Employment Matters! High-Quality Solutions and the Role of Corporate Engagement (Washington, DC: October 3, 2014, 8:00am - 11:00am)
Urban Alliance and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation are hosting Youth Employment Matters! High-Quality Solutions and the Role of Corporate Engagement. This event will feature discussions on the importance of youth workforce development, collaborative initiatives that are working to narrow the current skills gap, and ways for the business community to further support development of America's future workforce. Speakers will include executives from Marriott International, Bank of America, Deloitte & Touche, LLP, the Urban Institute, Futures and Options, and distinguished government officials.

Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit (Washington, DC, October 6-8, 2014)
Designed for funders, private sector companies, policy makers, youth leaders, implementers, educators, and researchers, this Summit attracts more than 400 attendees from 50 countries. Now in its eighth year, the annual Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit will help you to CONNECT to colleagues, EXCHANGE information, and achieve greater IMPACT.  150+ presenters from more than 35 countries are included in this year's Summit program.

The Close It Summit (Washington, DC, October 26-28, 2014)
The Close It Summit is a national call to action for industry, education, workforce, government, youth innovators, foundations and social impact organizations actively engaged in creating new pathways from education to employment. Building on key takeaways and attendee surveys from 2013, Close It is focusing on four key issues critical to jobs and employability in the U.S. — youth employment, skills & credentials in high demand fields, increasing access and opportunity to curriculum and training (Skill Up) and the critical importance of employability (soft) skills.

The National Opportunity Summit (Washington, DC, February 26, 2015)
The National Opportunity Summit, hosted by Opportunity Nation and co-conveners Business Roundtable (BRT), U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), and United Way Worldwide, will welcome more than 1,000 leaders from the business, nonprofit, education, and government sectors. The groups will join young adults from across the country to find solutions for persistently high unemployment rates for Americans ages 16-24.

Friday, September 12, 2014

YASEP "Innovations in the Field" Report Released

JobsFirstNYC today launched its first in a series of reports - Innovations in the Field - examining programs supported by JobsFirstNYC that serve both employers that need job-ready workers and young adults in New York City who want to access employment and training opportunities. The series begins with a look at the Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project (YASEP).

The YASEP initiative provides resources - both technical assistance and financial - for workforce partnerships to engage with employers in creating demand-focused programs using a sectoral approach to improve employment outcomes for young adults. Partnerships fostered and supported by YASEP will serve young adults across New York City, many of whom live in communities with the greatest concentrations of out-of-school and out-of-work young adults. It is our expectation that through creating these new ways of working with employers and job seekers we can create greater opportunities for young adults in New York City to connect to the labor market.

The seven partnerships of YASEP work together as a Learning Community to create sector-based, innovative workforce strategies. This report details YASEP's development, highlighting themes and findings that emerged in the Learning Community.

Download the report from the JobsFirstNYC website.

Friday, August 1, 2014

35 Percent. Really?

 Louis Miceli

By Lou Miceli
Executive Director, JobsFirstNYC

If I told you that over 1 in 3 - 35 percent - of all young, working-age New Yorkers cannot get and keep good jobs, and are either out of school and work or so underemployed that they may never beat the cycle of poverty, subsisting in low-wage jobs, would you be shocked? Dismayed? Appalled?

If I told you that figure - well over 300,000 people, which would rank in the top 60 largest cities in the United States (close to that of Pittsburgh, PA and Toledo, OH) - represents a crisis for New York City businesses with respect to their present and future talent needs, would this increase your concern?

While I have felt many of these things as I have come to terms with this reality, the most compelling thing I actually feel is hope. While the challenges are many, complex, and enduring, young people are still are greatest hope for our future as a City, and for our country, and I see it as part of my job and the job of my organization, JobsFirstNYC, to ensure that hope will endure.

In our recently released report, Unleashing the Economic Potential of the 35 Percent, JobsFirstNYC lays out four concrete, workable strategies to push back against these daunting numbers, and to offer a blueprint to truly engage, galvanize, and leverage business, civic, philanthropic, and nonprofit leadership as agents of change, agents of hope for our young people today and tomorrow.

New York is certainly not alone, as a recent report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation points out, over 6.5 million young people nationally are in the same circumstances, and all of this is also in context of a global crisis; many countries are struggling with this issue as we are. But if we work together, we work creatively, and we work with young people and with their futures first in mind, it is my firm belief that we can and will make a difference.

I would love to hear what you think of this report. It is also my hope that you will join us in this effort!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Unleashing the Economic Power of the 35 Percent

Dear Colleagues, 
I'm proud to share with you JobsFirstNYC's new policy paper, Unleashing the Economic Power of the 35 Percent.  
This document, along with our 2013 research publication Barriers to Entry, represents a call to action to build a workforce development system that gives every young adult an opportunity to earn a wage and participate in New York City's economy and meets the needs of the businesses that hire them. 
An estimated 172,000 young adults in New York City are neither working nor enrolled in school. Another 133,000 young adults work in low-wage jobs with limited opportunities for advancement. Together, they comprise 35 percent of the city's 18- to 24-year-old population. 

Without focused attention and support from city leaders in government, industry, and philanthropy, as well as employers, many of these young adults may never achieve economic self-sufficiency.

JobsFirstNYC proposes the creation of a comprehensive, community-based, and employer-focused young adult employment initiative that contains the following elements:  

 I. Sectoral Young Adult Employment Partnerships
  • Partnerships between employers and training providers should identify labor market gaps, occupations, and job openings within targeted sectors of the New York City economy that young adults could fill. 
 II. Sector-Based Training and Apprenticeship Programs that Support  Young Adults Seeking Career-Track Work, While Meeting Employer  Demands
  • Industries such as healthcare, property maintenance, construction, and transportation - which require on-the-job training or an industry-recognized certificate or license - offer tens of thousands of job openings in the city each year.
 III. A Network of Community-Based Young Adult Opportunity Centers and  Employment Partnerships
  • Opportunity Centers in the 18 communities with the greatest concentrations of out-of-school and out-of-work (OSOW) young adults would connect these individuals to jobs and to the educational, training, and support services necessary to get on a path toward self-sufficiency wage work and career success.
  • Neighborhood-Based Young Adult Employment Partnerships would streamline hiring and strengthen local businesses by connecting them to job-ready workers.   
 IV. A One-Stop Web Portal Providing Career Information and Access to  Education, Training and Employment Resources.
  • A web portal would provide comprehensive access to career-related and educational information that many young New Yorkers cannot currently find, including job openings, occupations and their required qualifications, training and education programs, and available resources to offset the costs of these programs.

The system we propose would address some of the biggest obstacles and help reopen the path to self-sufficiency wage jobs - to the benefit not only of young adults but of every New Yorker.  


Louis Miceli
Executive Director

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Response to Jobs for New Yorkers Task Force Announcement

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Response to Jobs for New Yorkers Task Force Announcement 

On Tuesday, Mayor de Blasio and Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen announced the Jobs for New Yorkers task force in order to develop strategies to help New Yorkers qualify for good jobs in high-demand fields and to connect jobseekers to employers across the five boroughs.  

As this accomplished group of leaders gets to work, JobsFirstNYC reminds them to consider that two groups especially need attention: the 172,000 young adult New Yorkers neither in school nor working, and the additional 133,000 young adults employed in low-wage jobs with few advancement opportunities. Together, they comprise 35 percent of New Yorkers between the ages of 18 and 24. Almost all of them have left school-whether or not they graduated-without the skills, credentials or support networks for career success.

To help young New Yorkers fulfill their potential and contribute to our city's economic growth, JobsFirstNYC builds employer-led initiatives in order to connect them to living wage jobs. If the City complements and amplifies these efforts, thousands of young people-notably those within that 35 percent-will benefit. 

JobsFirstNYC urges the Task Force to consider four concrete actions:

  1. Create demand-driven, sector-specific efforts-wherein employers are true partners in the process-that connect young adults to real-time work opportunities.
  2. Develop bridge programs and apprenticeships leading directly to high-demand occupations.
  3. Create neighborhood youth employment centers in communities where young people need them most. Such centers need to offer career and other wrap-around services as well as job placement and post-hire services.
  4. Offer incentives and supports for young people to pursue both employment opportunities and educational goals to accelerate and sustain their connection to the labor market.

JobsFirstNYC is a nonprofit intermediary organization that works to leverage all available community, corporate, human, organizational, private, and public resources to bring out-of-school and out-of-work young adults into the economic life of New York City.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Flawed Credential Fails NYS Youth | JobsFirstNYC News

Flawed State Credential Program Fails Young People, Employers and Workforce Practitioners
JobsFirstNYC's new research report The National Work Readiness Credential: Who Pays the Price? reveals that a key component of New York State's workforce development strategy for young adults is ineffective and deeply flawed.

The report shows that thousands of young people in New York State have been prepped to obtain the National Work Readiness Credential (NWRC) but few of them actually pass the credentialing test, and virtually none get a leg up in the job market. Employers don't value or even know about the NWRC.

JobsFirstNYC is urging the State to stop compelling young people to compete for this credential, and advocating that the State should instead fund effective programs already proven to help out-of-school, out-of-work young adults improve their skills and get good jobs.

You can read more in Crain's New York Business, and watch Errol Louis' interview with Margaret Stix, author of the report, online at NY1's Inside City Hall

Restaurant Industry Partnership Celebrates Training Graduates
Trainees proudly pose for a photo in the kitchen training area at the Javits Center. Credit: Steven Hill Photography
On April 4, friends, family and workforce practitioners gathered at the Center for Employment Opportunities to celebrate the graduation of eleven young people from a six-week culinary training program, supported by the Restaurant Industry Partnership. The Culinary Arts Skills Immersion Training (CASIT) teaches students the foundational skills needed for entry-level food service jobs.

As a result of the training, eight of the graduates have been hired by prominent New York City food businesses including Blue Apron, Centerplate and Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken. 

"I really, really appreciate everybody for giving me an opportunity to show what I 
can do and how much work I can put in," said Malchiyah Lewis one of the program graduates.

The Restaurant Industry Partnership aims to place these young people in union-track jobs that offer a living wage, and will continue to provide job coaching and support. Chef Steven Hill, head trainer for the program, is hopeful that the graduates will stay in touch. "Everybody bonded as a group really quickly," Hill said. "And that support system will be so important to their success moving forward."

"This is what it's all about - teaching young people industry-specific skills, and connecting them to employers who appreciate the energy and enthusiasm those young people bring to the job." said Lou Miceli, executive director of JobsFirstNYC. "Sector training programs like this one show extraordinary promise, and the partnership is excited to offer more trainings in the coming months."

Expanded from a curriculum designed by the Consortium for Worker Education, the Restaurant Industry Partnership is a pilot program created by JobsFirstNYC in partnership with the Center for Employment Opportunities, the Consortium for Worker Education, Henry Street Settlement, and the HOPE Program. The partnership develops more opportunities for out-of-school, out-of-work young people to acquire and hone the skills necessary to get an entry-level job and continue to grow within the food service industry. 

Advancing Policy for New York's Young Adults
JobsFirstNYC is honored to be working alongside Community Service Society, Neighborhood Family Services Coalition, United Neighborhood Houses, and the Youth Development Institute to advance the New York Opportunity Youth Agenda (NYOYA). 

For the last nine months, these organizations have convened to articulate an advocacy and policy platform that will improve conditions for young people who are out of school and out of work, and better support the organizations helping young people access education, workforce, and training programs in New York City. 

At this stage, over 100 organizations have signed on to the NYOYA, and we are in the midst of developing a proposal for consideration in the New York City Council. We will keep you apprised of our efforts.

Learn more and endorse the platform on the NYOYA website.

JobsFirstNYC Represents New York Youth at Summit

In March, JobsFirstNYC's Executive Director, Lou Miceli, got to join a terrific group of leaders comprising the New York State Delegation at the National Skills Coalition Annual Summit on Capital Hill in Washington, DC. The New York delegation had leaders represented from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, The Door, FEGS, the New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals, Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, and the Partnership for New York City

The National Skills Coalition is one of the few advocacy organizations engaging with national civic leadership to strengthen and better source the United States workforce system. 

As part of the visit, the delegation met with staffers from the offices of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Mayor Bill de Blasio and several other New York State representatives.

In each of the meetings, the delegation spoke about key priorities for sustaining current funding for key workforce programs, and made the case to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act and the Perkins Act. In these discussions, JobsFirstNYC advocated specifically for the needs of New York City's out-of-school and out-of-work youth within the context of the national youth employment crisis. In the United States, over 6.7 million young people are neither in school nor working. 

If your organization is not a member of the National Skills Coalition, you should be. You can learn more about joining on their website.

Friday, April 25, 2014

NYC Jobless Youth Pay High Price for Flawed State Project

Dear Colleagues, 
Two years ago, at the urging of many workforce organizations in New York City who raised serious concerns, JobsFirstNYC began research on the effectiveness of the National Work Readiness Credential (NWRC), a key component of New York State's employment and training programs for out-of-school, out-of-work young adults.

Developed by a coalition of five states and Washington D.C, the NWRC was intended to show employers that a jobseeker possessed the basic skills required by any entry-level position. However, since the NWRC's launch in 2006, New York State has been isolated in its promotion of the credential. 

Released today, JobsFirstNYC's research report The National Work Readiness Credential: Who Pays the Price? contains the following key findings

 The NWRC is not a valid measurement of work readiness for young adults  in New York City. 
  • The credential was neither designed nor intended for young adults in New York City to use.  
 Few young adults in New York City pass the NWRC, and the test has an 
 adverse impact on black young adults. 
  • Only 317 young adults passed the test to obtain the NWRC in 2011, out of an estimated 12,000 young adults who prepared for it. 
  • Black test takers failed the test at much higher rates than white test takers.  
 The NWRC has no value to employers or to young job applicants. 
  • Employers in New York City do not use the NWRC to distinguish candidates for job openings. 
  • The hiring rate for individuals with the National Work Readiness Credential was virtually identical to the hiring rate of those without it. 
 Supporting the NWRC diverts resources from effective approaches that  enable young adults to compete in the labor market. 
  • Existing State programs do not help them to obtain employer-recognized credentials that can qualify them for well-paying jobs. 

Despite extensive attempts to engage the State on this issue, they have released no information to show NWRC preparation enhances employment prospects for young adults. 

There is no rational basis for young adults to spend eight weeks preparing for the NWRC exam and three hours taking it. It is a futile and costly misadventure and, at a time of shrinking workforce development budgets and high young adult unemployment, it is an expense that New York cannot afford. But it is New York's young adults who pay the highest price for this ill-conceived initiative. 

We have asked the State to drop the NWRC as a requirement for youth employment programs. We will keep you informed of our advocacy efforts to increase attention and resources for training programs that actually work for young adults. 


Louis Miceli
Executive Director

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

February 2014 Newsletter

YASEP Partnerships Prepare for Implementation
On January 27, JobsFirstNYC hosted a briefing for funders interested in the Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project (YASEP)Each of the five workforce partnerships that received planning grants (PDF) from JobsFirstNYC presented their program models for improving employment outcomes for young adults 18-24 years old who are out of school and out of work, and fielded questions from representatives from the 15 foundations in attendance.

YASEP was set up to help workforce organizations find ways to collaborate more effectively with each other and with employers by focusing on specific sectors or industries in which to train, place, and retain young people in jobs with family-supporting wages. Sectors in this inaugural YASEP Learning Community include healthcare, transportation, food, information technology, and hospitality, food service, and retail. 

"YASEP's collaborative approach is focused on establishing richer, long-term relationships with New York City employers in order to create workforce solutions for young people," says Lou Miceli, Executive Director of JobsFirstNYC. 

Foundation representatives at the briefing asked several partnerships to present formal proposals for funding. JobsFirstNYC is now working to advise all five partnerships in refining their proposals and implementing their plans over the next two years.

The Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project is made possible with the generous support of the following funders: The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Capital One Foundation, the Clark Foundation, the Ira W. DeCamp Foundation, the New York Community Trust, and The Pinkerton Foundation.

JobsFirstNYC Team is Growing
We are pleased to announce two new members of the JobsFirstNYC team. We will welcome Marjorie D. Parker as the deputy executive director in early May. David Jason Fischer joined us as senior policy advisor this month.

Marjorie Parker, Deputy Executive Director 

Marjorie has over 20 years professional experience providing oversight of adult and youth services initiatives, and as an organizational consultant. She most recently served as the deputy executive director of programs at Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (OBT) in Brooklyn. Prior to that she held positions at the Research Foundation CUNY, New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), and The Valley, Inc.

"Marjorie is one of the true leaders in our field," said JobsFirstNYC Executive Director, Lou Miceli. "I have worked very closely with her over many years in a variety of capacities and her skills and breadth of experience are bar none. I look forward to her taking on a variety of leadership and project management roles at JobsFirstNYC and helping me set the strategic direction of the organization and take us to the next level as a workforce intermediary."

Asked why she views working at JobsFirstNYC as an opportunity to do more for young adults, Marjorie responded, "What's most exciting is to see how JobsFirstNYC serves a nexus of the workforce field - bringing together practitioners, funders, employers, and government. The organization is uniquely positioned to challenge assumptions and inspire new thinking, but also to help influence how the actual work is done in the field. There's a tremendous opportunity to build on proven effective approaches and field test others. Equally, it is important to continue to show funders the value and collective impact of their investment in workforce development for disconnected youth. As a workforce intermediary, JobsFirstNYC's role is to leverage both public and private resources across the field, so that all of the providers and practitioners can serve greater number of young adults."

David Fischer, Senior Policy Advisor 

David brings 14 years of experience as a researcher, advocate and administrator dedicated to improving New York City's workforce development system. As our senior policy advisor, he will be working on issues pertaining to labor market access for young adults, including exploring the possibility of creating an apprenticeship training structure to serve as a pathway for out-of-school/ work young adults to access union-track jobs, and helping to lift up the key accomplishments of programmatic efforts now underway that are making a difference in the lives of young people.   

"David adds a unique combination of a superb editorial voice, strategic wisdom and practical understanding of how the City's workforce system works, from inside and out," said Executive Director Lou Miceli. "David's wealth of experience means he already knows many of our current collaborators and can also foster new connections among the diverse communities, nonprofits, and government systems we partner with on behalf of young New Yorkers seeking jobs."

"JobsFirstNYC's work couldn't be more important," Fischer said. "It's about making a major, positive life-changing impact on the young people served, to the benefit of the entire city. Evidence shows that young people not educated or acculturated to steady work by their mid-20s face a difficult life ahead, one likely to require very significant public spending through shelters, emergency medical care, or the criminal justice system. If we can help young adults find their footing in the labor market and begin earning a family-supporting wage, they become masters of their own fate."

Saturday, January 25, 2014

2013 Year in Review

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2013 Year in Review
JobsFirstNYC is proud to have worked with our partners this year on a range of initiatives at the local, state and national level to improve employment opportunities for out-of-school out-of-work young adults. Here is a look at some of our achievements.

Expanding knowledge about the youth employment crisis (PDF) through the release of Barriers to Entry: The Increasing Challenges Faced by Young Adults in the New York City Labor Market. The report, authored by James Parrott of Fiscal Policy Institute and Lazar Treschan of Community Service Society, offered the latest research, analysis and insights on trends in the demand for young adult labor. Over 150 industry leaders, funders, policy makers/influencers, and employers attended the release event.

   Randy Osmun, Executive Director of The
   SOURCE, speaks to the YASEP Learning

Coordinating the Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project (YASEP) (PDF) our new local initiative with five workforce partnerships awarded planning grants and becoming inaugural members of the YASEP Learning Community. The first such effort of its kind nationally, JobsFirstNYC is preparing the five partnerships for funding in early 2014, and working to assist 500 young people 18-24 years old, who are out of school and out of work, make a successful transition to the labor market in the next two years.

Re-Envisioning the Workforce Development System in New York City through participation on the Workforce Strategy Group - ten practitioners with decades of experience in the city's workforce system -who created a "re-envisioning" document to help the next Mayor of New York City deliver on the promise of job creation. We also met with mayoral candidates to make sure the challenges facing young people
in their effort to access the labor market were present in any plans to restructure the city's workforce development system. Executive Director Lou Miceli is a member of the Re-Envisioning Strategy Group, and we are working closely with a range of partners to ensure that the incoming mayoral administration prioritizes the challenge of out-of-school/work young adults.

   Filled-to-capacity October 2013 CBO
   Network Meeting

Convening meetings of Community-Based Organizations (CBOs). We support the vital role CBOs play in reconnecting out-of-work and out-of-school young adults to opportunities for self-sufficiency through advocacy, professional development, and organization building efforts. This is a powerful way to connect the many people in the young adult workforce field who can share best practices, engage with industry experts, and keep abreast of the most important trends in the field. 

    Photo courtesy of the BON

Collaborating with Aspen Institute Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund, in partnership with the Bronx Opportunity Network (BON), to work with leaders from 21 communities across the U.S. to build cross-sector collaborations with the goal of bringing 6.7 million young people back into education and the workforce. The BON is a powerful eight-organization, community-based collaboration serving young people in the poorest neighborhoods in the South Bronx who endeavor to succeed in college. JobsFirstNYC is supporting this project financially and with a range of technical assistance supports. 

    Photo by Helayne Seidman

Funding to support a Network Coordinator, (PDF). Gaspar Caro acts as the key staff person bringing all member organizations, employer partners and community stakeholders to the Lower East Side Employment Network (LESEN) - a collaboration among six community-based organizations all serving residents in the Lower East Side and New York City at-large. LESEN works with the hospitality sector, among others, which has a significant and growing presence in the area, to design and streamline customized recruitment efforts and processes for hotels and related businesses to hire young people and older adults from the neighborhood and city. (Luis Vargas, a Network job seeker, was featured in this New York Post article.)

     Alan Momeyer, Loews Corporation
Building our board of directors through the addition of three new members: Steve Block, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Architecture, Moody's; Dianne Morales, Executive Director, Phipps CDC; and Angela Ortiz, Extern Attorney and Volunteer Attorney, Lawyers Alliance for New York. In addition, long-time board member Alan Momeyer, Vice President for Human Resources, Loews Corporation, became the new board chair to expand financial resources, bring leadership from the business community, and lead the Board's transition from a founding to an operational role in the coming year.

Thank you to our partners who helped make these accomplishments possible. We look forward to our continued work together in 2014.