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.
Restaurant Industry Partnership Celebrates Training Graduates
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.