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