Monday, April 24, 2017

Place-Based Initiative: Bedford-Stuyvesant

On Tuesday, April 18th JobsFirstNYC partnered with Council Member Robert Cornegy's office to hold a town hall meeting for workforce providers and stakeholders focused on District 36, comprised of Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn exploring workforce and career options for out-of-school, out-of-work young adults in the District. JobsFirstNYC found that Bedford-Stuyvesant continues to be one of the 18 communities in NYC with the highest concentration of out-of-work, out-of-school young adults. First identified in our 2013 publication, Barriers to Entry,and again in our 2017 our briefing, "Declines in New York City's Out-of-School, Out-of-Work Young Adult Population...But Numbers Remain High", the community now ranks as number two on the list. Although Bedford-Stuyvesant has experienced overall economic improvements, these numbers remain stubbornly high and an intervention is necessary to ensure the young people of the district benefit from the development it is undergoing.

This town hall, the first of a number planned for 2017, featured presentations by Council Member Cornegy; Stefani Zinerman, the Council Member's Chief of Staff; the JobsFirstNYC team; Lazar Treschan, Director of Youth Policy at the Community Service Society, and a panel featuring Oma Holloway, Director of Community Engagement for MYBASE at Bridge Street Development Corporation and Chair of the Education and Youth Services Committee for Brooklyn Community Board 3; Doriga Alves, Vice President of Career Management for the Transportation Diversity Council; and Roger Green, Professor, Medgar Evers College and Coalition to Transform Interfaith Medical Center. 

JobsFirstNYC's Place-Based Initiatives focus on creating access to economic opportunities through the development of collaborative, local-level partnerships between community-based organizations, educational institutions, businesses, government, and other stakeholders to improve connections to jobs, strengthen local relationships, align community improvement strategies, and leverage resources across all systems to improve the lives of young adults who are out of school and out of work.

Over the last ten years, JobsFirstNYC has partnered with local communities to develop and sustain several place-based partnerships, including employer-facing networks to improve the way workforce organizations engage with and provide services to employers and college access networks to increase college enrollment and completion. One of the earliest examples of this strategy is best represented through the Lower East Side Employment Network, but others also include Youth WINS in Staten Island and the myriad of sector-based partnerships presently operating through the Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project. In the Bronx, we have been working to improve college completion rates for young people through the Bronx Opportunity Network.

Friday, April 21, 2017

JobsFirstNYC Announces New Executive Director

The JobsFirstNYC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that after three years of leadership in the role of deputy executive director, Marjorie Parker has been appointed as Executive Director of JobsFirstNYC, effective July 1, 2017. Over the course of her career, Marjorie has held leadership roles in nonprofit, government, and management consulting. During her time at JobsFirstNYC, Marjorie has overseen the implementation of several major initiatives, spearheading the organization’s partnership development, policy and advocacy efforts, and employer engagement work. The board of directors and staff have long admired her passion, focus, professionalism, and informed counsel on the organization’s mission to connect young adults to the economic life of New York City.

“As JobsFirstNYC enters our tenth year, we could not have a more principled and thoughtful leader to direct the next phase of our work. Over the past three years, we have experienced the weight of Marjorie’s commitment and determination. Marjorie’s strong ties to local communities, deep understanding of economic and workforce development, and unwavering dedication to young adults makes her the right leader to harness the potential of the organization,” said Alan Momeyer, JobsFirstNYC’s Board Chair.

“I thank the board of directors for the immense honor to lead JobsFirstNYC. This organization has remained steadfast in its commitment to young adults and to the field,” said Marjorie Parker. “Through support from Lou [Miceli], the team here, and many of you, I am excitedly looking ahead. In my role, I will continue our work of improving economic and educational outcomes for young adults by supporting successful practices, developing innovative newapproaches, and collaborating closely with the field to create community- and systems-level change.”

JobsFirstNYC was established in 2007 by private funders to improve workforce prospects for young adults. JobsFirstNYC has become a national leader in expanding employer-driven approaches in New York City through the Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project and the Lower East Side Employment Network, among others, always in partnership with innovative direct service providers. The organization has expanded and adapted these efforts through a place-based, partnership-driven approach to engaging and effectively serving young adults in under-resourced communities like the North Shore of Staten Island, Central Brooklyn and the South Bronx. Regular policy, research and practice briefs like 
Innovations in the Field: the Bronx Opportunity Network and Optimizing Talent: The Promise and the Perils of Adapting Sectoral Strategies for Young Workers continue to highlight innovative approaches for improving outcomes for young adults. The Board of JobsFirstNYC is committed to continuing this important work under new leadership.

“Early and energetic employer engagement often gets too little attention in job training programs,” says Rick Smith of the Pinkerton Foundation. “JobsFirstNYC clearly understands the importance of involving employers from the start, and thanks to its efforts, many of our grantees are making real progress and producing real results for the young people they serve. We look forward to continuing our work with Marjorie and her team to build on those accomplishments.”

JobsFirstNYC was created, in part, to improve the way in which young adult workforce organizations serve both young people and employers. Certainly, through its various initiatives and programs, the organization has had a substantial and lasting impact on how workforce organizations go about their important work. We look forward to seeing how, under new leadership, the organization will continue to build on its successes,” says Charles Buice of the Tiger Foundation.

“We at JPMorgan Chase are pleased to have a productive partnership with JobsFirstNYC as we work together to strengthen the workforce field and to further align job training, economic development, and employer engagement efforts in New York City, and notably in places like the Bronx where rates of young adult disconnection remain stubbornly high,” said Jennie Sparandara, JPMorgan Chase Global Philanthropy.

“It’s been a tremendously rewarding experience to work at JobsFirstNYC and a privilege to collaborate with colleagues here and in the broader field. I am excited for the skills Marjorie brings to this work and for the next phase of the organization’s growth. I know I leave JobsFirstNYC in excellent hands,” stated Lou Miceli, who has served in the executive role since 2010. Lou will remain through June 30, 2017 and is assuming a promising new leadership role at a new organization in the fall.

We hope you will join us in congratulating Marjorie Parker. We look forward to hearing from you and learning from you in the coming weeks and months as Marjorie begins in her new role and continues to engage the field.