Monday, February 9, 2015

2014 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 our year.

                       Raising Consciousness                   

The National Work Readiness Credential: Who Pays the Price? (April 2014)  

JobsFirstNYC responded to complaints from workforce organizations about the cost and lack of benefit of the National Work Readiness Credential (NWRC) - a credential mandated by New York State. This report details how New York City jobless young adults pay the high price for a flawed state project that has no value to employers nor young job applicants.

Unleashing the Economic Power of the 35 Percent (July 2014)
35 percent of New Yorkers aged 18-24 are neither working nor enrolled in school or work in low wage jobs. This policy paper calls for action to build an employer-centered, community-based system that gives every young adult in New York City an opportunity to get a career-track, living-wage job and also meets
businesses need for skilled workers.
YASEP is the first national-scale project of its kind for young adults to test the effectiveness of sectoral employment strategies to specifically support growth sectors of the economy. This report details YASEP's development, highlighting themes and findings that emerged in the Learning Community. Sectors in YASEP include healthcare, information technology and logistics/transportation. This is the first in a series of papers that will examine programs supported by JobsFirstNYC.

                          Advancing Practice                            

  Bronx Opportunity Network (BON) 

Established in 2008, the BON is a collaborative of seven leading nonprofit organizations in the Bronx that believe impacting the success of young people within the community college system is critical to ensuring their economic mobility. Over the past year, the BON was awarded a three-year Opportunity Youth Incentive grant from the Aspen Institute to support a collective impact study. In a recent assessment of the 2012/ 2013 school year - starting with the 2012 summer bridge program - of the 92 participating students that summer, 63 completed the fall 2012 semester. In total, participants earned an average of over of 12.57 credits, 996 credits in total. Currently, there are 194 students active in the BON. To learn more, please click here.

Lower East Side Employment Network (LESEN)
Established in 2007, the LESEN brings together the resources of six community agencies and Manhattan Community Board 3 in the Lower East Side to maximize employment opportunities for local residents by lowering the barriers to access quality jobs in high-demand industries. Between March 2012 and June 2014, LESEN engaged a total of 91 area employers, arranging a total of 410 candidate interviews with a 3:1 hire ratio. Nearly half of those placed were young adults and the average wage at placement was $10.61 an hour. As several major developments on the Lower East Side are projected to break ground over the coming years, LESEN anticipates employment opportunities in construction, retail, hospitality and other sectors. To learn more, please click here.

NYC Restaurant Industry Partnership 
Established in 2014, this is a new, industry-specific partnership between employers and workforce organizations. During the last year, JobsFirstNYC supported and initiated a pilot training cycle that engaged four workforce organizations. We led a training which included twelve young people, several of which have acquired union positions with Centerplate Kitchen at the Jacob Javitz Center.

The Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project (YASEP) 
Five of the seven YASEP partnerships transitioned from the planning phase to implementation and have launched program services. In 2014, 394 young people were served, with 278 enrolled in skills-based training. JobsFirstNYC invited two additional organizational partnerships engaged in young adult sectoral employment work to join the YASEP Learning Community. You can learn more about the YASEP here.

                        Strategic Engagement                     

     Andrew H. Tisch, Co-Chairman of the Board & Chairman of the Executive Committee, Loews Corporation, Lou Miceli and Peter Fernandez, CEO, Citipak Delivery Systems
In June of 2014, JobsFirstNYC inaugurated our Employer Leadership Council, bringing together eighteen business leaders and business intermediary representatives across multiple sectors. These members have answered our call for support, mentorship and ambassadorship, and enable us to leverage our employer engagement strategies through a group of high-profile business leaders who can champion and advance our broader agenda of improving services to both employers and young adults. We are grateful to Mr. Andrew Tisch for kicking-off our inaugural meeting.

Community-Based, Demand Driven: Strategies for Building Next Generation Programs - A Look at the Transportation and Logistics Sectors (November 2014) This was the first in a series of convenings featuring demand-driven and community-based employment strategies that highlight the effectiveness of partnerships as a tool to build capacity, scale projects, and have greater impact. Please keep an eye out for announcements regarding our next convening, scheduled for March 5th, focused on the IT sector.

Jobs for New Yorkers Task Force
(August and December 2014)

JobsFirstNYC convened the leadership from across the young adult workforce system to offer feedback to Mayor de Blasio's Jobs for New Yorkers Task Force and shared the input from that group with the Task Force and wider field. To download a copy of this report, please click here (PDF).

JobsFirstNYC responded to the recommendations of the Task Force Report on December 3, 2014. Click here for full article which appeared in the Gotham Gazette.

Strengthening NYC's Youth Workforce Development System (October 2014)
A JobsFirstNYC and Center for an Urban Future symposium that 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.

                       JobsFirstNYC's Family is Growing!             

Our Board:
Jennifer Hensley
, Executive Director, Association for a Better New York (ABNY); and Patricia Robinson, Director of Human Resources & Assistant Controller, Emmis Communications New York both joined the JobsFirstNYC Board of Directors during 2014. 

Our Staff: 
In addition, our staff has grown to include: Marjorie Parker, Deputy Executive Director; David Fischer, Senior Policy Advisor and Evy Gonzalez, Administrative Coordinator.

Thank you to our partners and supporters who make these accomplishments possible.
We look forward to an exiting and challenging 2015!

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