Thursday, February 25, 2016

JobsFirstNYC February Newsletter


Editorial from JobsFirstNYC
State of the Borough
New Initiatives 
Recent Convenings
Celebrating Our Partners
News from the Field
Staff Announcements


Last month, Governor Cuomo gave his 2016 State of the State and executive budget address in Albany, NY. While the governor announced his plan to expand the Urban Youth Jobs Program, his narrative of a successfully completed strategy to get young people into jobs does not quite reflect the actual crisis of youth unemployment in New York today. Check out our full response to the Governor's State of the State regarding youth unemployment here. 

JobsFirstNYC wants to hear from you. We are looking for submissions of 500 words or fewer on any youth workforce related topic. If you have a piece you'd like to be featured on our blog and/or newsletter, please send your submission to


One out of  four 16-25 year olds in the South Bronx are out of school and out of work (OSOW), a far higher rate than any other area of the city. The rate of OSOW youth in the rest of the Bronx (more than 19 percent) is also higher than in the other four boroughs. Over 98 percent of OSOW youth in the South Bronx are Latino or Black. Over 40 percent lack a high school diploma, and 7 out of 10 are not even looking for work. 

Graphs prepared by the Community Service Society,
The rate of disconnection from school and work for young adults in the South Bronx is above the New York City average of 16.4 percent for this age group (16-25), and higher than any other borough.

The greatest contributor to OSOW status is unemployment. More than a quarter of young South Bronx residents are unemployed.  This number is  similar to the rest of the Bronx, but much higher than other parts of the city. Moreover, The high youth unemployment rate in the South Bronx is driven up largely by the unemployment rate for blacks (43 percent), which is nearly twice the unemployment rate for young blacks citywide (27 percent ). Moreover, young workers in the South Bronx are more likely than workers in the rest of the Bronx and the city as a whole to work in retail trade and low paying services, and are less likely to work in high paying services. 

Graphs prepared by the Community Service Society,


YASEP Expansion

JobsFirstNYC launched the Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project (YASEP) in September of 2013 to support workforce partnerships in New York City using a sectoral approach to improve employment outcomes for young adults who are out-of-school and out-of-work. After an extremely successful first round of five partnerships, JobsFirstNYC has begun to expand the YASEP learning community.  
We are pleased to announce the four newly selected partnerships who are now members of YASEP Learning Community:

Green City Force, with partners Association for Energy Affordability (AEA), Con Edison, L+M Development Partners, Inc., C+C Management, and NYCHA's Office of Resident Economic Empowerment and Sustainability (REES) to focus on the sector of sustainable buildings as a subset of green jobs. 

The Knowledge House with partners Hostos Community College and Per Scholas to develop pathways into technology jobs for young adults in the Bronx.
Roundabout Theatre Company (RTC), partnering with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./NY), BAM and The Public Theater to develop a pathway into technical theatre careers for under-resourced and under-represented young adults.
Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center, Inc. (Isaacs Center) partnering as the Guest Services Collaborative (GSC) with Asphalt Green, Hilton Garden Inn, Ink48, Barnes & Noble, and the Museum of the City of New York to focus on careers in the hospitality sector.


Optimizing Talent is Released!

Optimizing Talent: The Promise and the Perils of Adapting Sectoral Strategies for Young Workers,written by Sheila Maguire and released in early February by JobsFirstNYC and the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program (EOP)  explores the question: How can sector strategies be most effectively applied to young adult workforce development programming? Building on years of research at the Aspen Institute and considering the implications of Tuning In to Local Labor Markets: Findings From the Sectoral Employment Impact Study report issued by Public/Private Ventures in 2010, Optimizing Talent also lifts up early lessons learned from the Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project (YASEP). JobsFirstNYC and the Aspen Institute will be hosting a briefing event regarding this report on the morning of March 7th in New York City. Please note your calendars and stay tuned for updates. We hope you can join us.


JobsFirstNYC hosts the University of Pretoria's Gordon Institute of Business Science
This month, JobsFirstNYC organized and facilitated a panel on helping young people to prepare for careers in the transportation sector for a group of 25 delegates from the Transport Education and Training Authority (TETA) in South Africa. The delegates are currently completing an executive leadership training and development program with the Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg, and the Institute leaders reached out to JobsFirstNYC to learn more about role of the transportation sector in addressing youth unemployment in large urban areas, such as New York City.

JobsFirstNYC staff and TETA delegates strike a pose to celebrate international collaboration. 

Panelists for the event included, Doug Cotter, Executive Director at DB Grant and Associates; Lowell Herschberger, Director of Career and Educational Programs at Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation; and Lesley Hirsch, Director, Labor Market Information Serviceat the Center for Urban Research, City University of New York. 


New York City Employment and Training Coalition (NYCETC) 2016 Policy Forum
January 2016, New York, NY
 Lou Miceli moderates the Policy Forum's morning plenary. 

Last month, The New York City Employment and Training Coalition (NYCETC) hosted its 2016 Policy Forum.The event included morning and afternoon plenaries as well as seven breakout workshop sessions on employer engagement, performance management and evaluation, building sector strategies, and more. 
JobsFirstNYC's Executive Director, Lou Miceli, moderated the opening plenary, Translating Research and Policy into Action, which included the following panelists: David Berman, Director of Programs and Evaluation, NYC Center for Economic Opportunity; Tara Colton, Senior Vice President, Programs, Seedco; Katy Gaul-Stigge, Executive Director, NYC Mayor's Office of Workforce Development; and Patricia Jenny, Vice President for Grants, New York Community Trust. 

National Skills Coalition's 2016 Skills Summit
February 2016, Washington, DC

From February 7-9, the National Skills Coalition hosted its annual Skills Summit, bringing together more than 270 workforce advocates, employers, and community college leaders from 29 states. The Summit included workshops on the latest policy developments and opportunities across adult education, career and technical education, work-based learning, higher education, and more. JobsFirstNYC's Lou Miceli, presented on an opening Summit panel titled, WIOA & Youth Employment Policies: A Raised Bar, But is it a More Supportive Policy? Other presenters on the panel included, Alex Johnson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Capital Workforce Partners; Thomas Showalter, Executive Director, National Youth Employment Coalition; and Sheila Maguire, Sheila Maguire Consulting. Katie Spike, Federal Policy Analyst for the National Skills Coalition, moderated the panel. 


This month, we are celebrating the Lower East Side Employment Network (LESEN) by lifting up the work of LESEN Coordinator, Caspar Caro. Last month, we interviewed Gaspar about the challenges and rewards of youth workforce development, check out his inspiring interview here on our blog. 




Does your organization have news you'd like to share with the field? Send your announcements to


JobsFirstNYC's Team is Growing!

We are thrilled to announce that this month, John "J.T." Falcone joined the JobsFirstNYC team as Partnerships and Programs Associate. 

A graduate of Wesleyan   University where he studied Philosophy, J.T. is a critical thinker who is careful to view his contributions through an intersectional lens. J.T. previously served as a Program Analyst at America Works, where he acted as a grant writer as well as supported daily operations including service delivery, online branding, and communications under their NYC Human Resources Administration's B2W contract. Please join us in welcoming J.T. to the team. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Response to Governor Cuomo’s 2016 State of the State and Executive Budget Address

Last month, Governor Cuomo gave his 2016 State of the State and executive budget address in Albany, NY. There, to a diverse audience of guests, Governor Cuomo announced his fiscal and policy priorities for the new year. He announced billions of dollars in increased funding to address homelessness, as well as the $100 billion dollar Build to Lead program, which will provide improvements to LaGuardia, Kennedy, and McArthur airports, the Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA), Penn Station, and the Javits Center, to name a few. However, while Governor Cuomo cited the high rates of unemployment for young minority males in NY State and announced his plan to expand the Urban Youth Jobs Program, his narrative of a successfully completed strategy to get young people into jobs does not quite reflect the persistent crisis of youth unemployment in New York today.

In New York State, young people are more than twice as likely to be unemployed as older New Yorkers. The unemployment rate for 16-19 year old young people reached 20% in 2014 and the rate for 20-24 year old young people reached 11%, while the overall statewide rate remained at 6%. Since the 2008 recession, young people nationwide have felt the most extreme effects of unemployment, underemployment, and working poverty – youth here in New York are no exception. Even industries that have been traditional entry points for youth to enter the labor force, such as retail and food services, have seen declines in younger workers in recent years, despite overall job growth in these sectors.  As our state’s economy continues to recover and job creation flourishes, our young people are reaping the fewest benefits of our prosperous economic life.

In his address, Governor Cuomo referenced the success of the Urban Youth Jobs Program in places like the Bronx borough of New York City, going so far as to say, “Just go to the Bronx and talk to Borough President Diaz and you can feel on the street where the unemployment rate has come down and young people have jobs and have hopes and crime is down”. Unfortunately, those sentiments don’t reflect the everyday lives of many young adults. For instance, in the South Bronx, which has the highest concentration of young people between the ages of 16-24 in New York City, the youth unemployment rate is a staggering 27%, compared to 25% in the rest of the borough and 18% citywide. Moreover, 40% young South Bronx residents are living in poverty.

JobsFirstNYC’s reports, Unleashing the Economic Power of the 35% and Barriers to Entry serve as both resources and a calls to action. In the papers, we recommend that policymakers take specific measures to increase youth employment numbers; improve job quality for young workers; invest in more comprehensive programs to build young workers’ skills; and expand support services young workers need, such as childcare and education. Earlier this year, in a testimony to the City Council’s Economic Development & Small Business Committee, JobsFirstNYC called on Mayor de Blasio to make a bold, audacious plan to address the out-of-school, out-of-work crisis in New York City. Similarly, we are calling on Governor Cuomo to make an equally as bold, equally as audacious plan to address the statewide youth unemployment crisis. Lifting up just one jobs program is not nearly enough to address the depth or breadth of this issue that affects hundreds of thousands of young New Yorkers every day. President Obama this month paved the way for specific action around these issues by proposing $2 billion in funds to reconnect out-of-school, out-of-work young people to education and training programs – a clear gesture for like-minded executives like Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo to follow.

Check out the New York Association of Training & Employment Professionals (NYATEP)'s response to the State of the State Address and a breakdown of the governor's Executive Budget here.

Important Changes to 2017-18 FAFSA

Late last year, President Obama announced several changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process for the 2017-18 school year. These changes may impact millions of young adults applying for financial aid. Changes include new submission timelines and new supplemental document requirements.

Check out the Federal Student Aid Office's website here to inform yourself and the young people you work with about these important changes!

Image result for office of federal student aid

Monday, February 22, 2016

Register today for March 7 panel discussion on Optimizing Talent

JobsFirstNYC and the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program invite you to attend a panel discussion on our latest publication!

Optimizing Talent: 
The Promise and the Perils of Adapting Sectoral Strategies for Young Workers

Sheila Maguire
Sheila Maguire Consulting (author)

Maureen Conway
Vice President, The Aspen Institute
Executive Director, The Economic Opportunities Program

Laurie Dien
Vice President - Programs, The Pinkerton Foundation
Additional panelists to be announced.

March 7, 2016  -  9:30-11:30 a.m.
The Conference Center
130 East 59th Street, Room 710, New York, NY 10022

About the Event:

Optimizing Talent: The Promise and the Perils of Adapting Sectoral Strategies for Young Workers (2016), written by Sheila Maguire and released early February by JobsFirstNYC and the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program (EOP) explores the question: How can sector strategies be most effectively applied to young adult workforce development programming? 

Building on years of research at the Aspen Institute and considering the implications of Tuning In to Local Labor Markets: Findings From the Sectoral Employment Impact Study report issued by Public/Private Ventures in 2010, Optimizing Talent also lifts up early lessons learned from the Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project (YASEP) - a pilot project specific to this work that JobsFirstNYC launched in 2013.

About the Author:
Sheila Maguire, Consultant, Sheila Maguire Consulting, has been offering consulting services to non profit organizations, foundations and government agencies to develop workforce development service delivery strategies that are based on research about promising or proven practice and grounded in an understanding of organizational and programmatic implementation issues. Her areas of expertise include: Program design; organizational change; group facilitation and consensus building; staff training and leadership development; strategic planning; partnership development; using data to improve performance; evaluation strategies; workforce strategies including sectoral employment; community college programming; replication; technical assistance and capacity building.

Guest Panelists:
Maureen Conway, Vice President, the Aspen Institute, Executive Director, the Economic Opportunities Program, leads a team of researchers and consultants in a variety of initiatives to identify and advance strategies that help low-income Americans gain ground in today's labor market. She is a nationally recognized expert in sectoral workforce development and has been quoted in a variety of news media including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, National Journal and National Public Radio's Market Place. Under her leadership, EOP's Workforce Strategies Initiative has investigated the outcomes of sectoral workforce development, provided innovation seed grants to leading programs in order to illuminate promising practices and explored key operating features of programs in specific industry sectors. 

Laurie Dien, Vice President --- Programs, the Pinkerton Foundation, has a special fondness for programs that provide career exploration for all young people and education and employment opportunities for those who are out of work and out of school. Some of this work includes the Science Research Mentoring Consortium, an initiative currently in its third year --- now known as the Pinkerton Science Scholars Program --- that offers intensive science training and one-on-one mentoring in an authentic laboratory research project to talented high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project and the partnerships that have developed from it, which promote the importance of sector employment strategies for young adults. And the Youth Development Institute's Community Education Pathways to Success, a blended approach that helped young adults with low-literacy skills attain their HSE. More than a decade ago, Laurie was instrumental in the founding of the Career Internship Network, a source of education and professional development opportunities for organizations that offer internships to thousands of high school students each year.

We look forward to seeing you on March 7!

Louis Miceli