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."