Thursday, October 25, 2018

Adapting to the Future of Work: From the Ground Up Summary and Highlights

“I am living my passion. I wake up everyday ready. Do you wake up everyday ready?

This is how Marjorie Parker, JobsFirstNYC’s President and CEO, welcomed guests at Adapting to the Future of Work: From the Ground Up, a two-day convening for practitioners, policymakers, philanthropic leaders, employers and other stakeholders to celebrate, inspire and strengthen the community.



Marjorie Parker, CEO & President, opens first day

Commemorating her first anniversary in this leadership role, and the twelfth for JobsFirstNYC, her opening remarks not only set the stage for two days of reflection and community-building, but also sent a defiant message of organizational and personal commitment to bettering the lives of young adults in New York City through innovative collaboration, and systems improvement and alignment. Held on July 11 and 12, 2018 at CUNY’s Baruch College, the event convened close to 400 people from local and national organizations—including more than 200 young adults from New York City workforce development programs.


Young adult participants

Workforce development leader participate in discussion

Day One
Highlight video here

The first day brought together leaders from New York City’s workforce development field to reflect on JobsFirstNYC’s 12-year history working with local communities to build multi-stakeholder partnerships and ​reflect on​ ​the power of communities organizing to accelerate change.

Kaarim Abouelnaga delivers keynote on first day

A highlight of the day was the keynote address by Karim Abouelnaga, an under-thirty TED and Echoing Green Fellow, entrepreneur and writer who, at the age of eighteen, founded Practice Makes Perfect, an organization that seeks to redefine the summer learning experience for all children. The Forbes’ 30 Under 30 alumnus built on Ms. Parker’s opening remarks, urging the audience to let their optimism and idealism for change drive their everyday work. Mr. Abouelnaga was introduced by Djibril Kaba, a JobsFirstNYC and Young Invincibles’ Impact Fellow and an alumnus of Per Scholas’ Computing Technology Industry Association A+ certification program. “The only change and the real change that we need to have happen, only happens in the sense of idealism—this sense of belief; this belief and hope that we can change the current situation that we’re in,” concludes Karim in his address.
From left to right: Brian Licata, James Johnson, Elizabeth Hoagland, Simon Chiew, Gaspar Caro, Lowell Heschberger, Monique De La Oz, Faoziyat Sanusi

Similarly powerful and inspiring were the Ignite Presentations: The Power of Partnership, six-minute presentations by JobsFirstNYC’s partners:

The presentations served as a reminder about JobsFirstNYC’s track record of being in service to young adults and the workforce development community throughout New York City, and that through partnering together we provide more and better economic opportunities for young New Yorkers. 

From left to right: Jim Marley, Betsy Dubovsky, Laurie Dien


Whereas the place-based partners’ presentations helped contextualize JobsFirstNYC’s practice and impact in community organizing, our panel discussions engaged the audience in dialog around the economic challenges and opportunities young adults face in today’s economy. In the first panel, Looking Back to Forge Ahead, long-standing partners and supporters recapped JobsFirstNYC’s influence in the field and shared anecdotes that demonstrate the organization’s ability to leverage resources. The panel featured Laurie Dien, Vice President of Programs at the Pinkerton Foundation; Betsy Dubovsky, Executive Director at The Staten Island Foundation; and Jim Marley, Coordinator of CUNY and Bronx Opportunity Network Interface Lead at Good Shepherd Services. This panel was moderated by Stanley Richards, Executive Vice President at The Fortune Society and member of JobsFirstNYC’s Board of Directors.

From left to right: Kimberly Pham, Abby Marquand, Robert Sainz, John Thorson, and Angie Kamath


The second panel, Systems Alignment and Impact: Building Sustainable Strategies, featured professionals from organizations across the nation—all working to increase economic opportunities for young adults—in a conversation about the interconnectedness of challenges young adults face and the importance of implementing large-scale collaborative solutions as an approach to systemic change. This panel included Angie Kamath, University Dean at CUNY; Abby Marquand, Vice President at JPMorgan Chase Global Philanthropy; Kimberly Pham, National Center for Youth Law Co-Founder and Opportunity Youth United's Community Civic Engagement Liaison; Robert Sainz, Assistant General Manager at the City of Los Angeles’ Economic and Workforce Development Department; John Thorson, Hennepin County Workforce Development Director in Minnesota. This conversation was moderated by Alan Momeyer, Vice President Emeritus, Human Resources, at the Loews Corporation and Chair of JobsFirstNYC’s Board of Directors.



Day Two
Highlight video here


The second day, in collaboration with the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development and Young Invincibles, convened over 200 young adults ages 1624 to network, participate in professional development, connect with successful young professionals, and become inspired by their personal stories and professional journeys.

Marjorie Parker opens second day

Ms. Parker kicked off the event raising consciousness about the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow’s workforce, the importance of adaptation in keeping with the demands of the job market, and the role young adults can play in shaping the future of work through advocacy and policy change. 

Vidal Guzman delivers keynote address on second day

Ms. Parker’s remarks were followed by Vidal Guzman, Community Organizer at JustLeadershipUSA, who delivered the keynote address. Mr. Guzman candidly spoke about his challenges growing up in a drug-infested low-income neighborhood of New York City, his experiences in and out of the criminal justice system and coping with homelessness, and his success turning those struggles into positive pathways. Today, as a community organizer, Mr. Guzman’s focus is on #Closerikers, a campaign to close the Rikers Island jail complex and transform New York City’s criminal justice system, turning his personal struggles into assets towards his professional pursuits. Powerful and forthright in his delivery, Mr. Guzam’s story resonated with many in the audience, setting the stage for similar conversations happening throughout the day in panels and breakout sessions.

From left to right: Keenan Thom, Alvin Irby, Rhonesha Byng, Quardean Lewis-Allen, and Idalin Bobe

The morning panel, Entrepreneurship: Connecting Passion and Experiences To Career Pathways, featured Alvin Irby, Founder & Chief Reading Inspirer of Barbershop Books, who urged young adults to connect their passions to careers, illustrating this through anecdotes from his work in comedy and education; Rhonesha Byng, Founder & CEO of Her Agenda, who shared her experience and advice about creating and running a digital media platform that bridges the gap between ambition and achievement for millennial women; Quardean Lewis-Allen, Founder & CEO of Made in Brownsville, who, as a native of Brownsville, Brooklyn, inspired the audience by telling details about his education at Harvard and his work in the creative industry in Brownsville; and, Idalin Bobe, Founder of TechActivist, a fervent speaker who shared her struggles and current success in the tech industry as a woman of color who speaks with an accent and comes from a low-income neighborhood. The discussion was moderated by Keenan Thom, Project Manager at HERE to HERE.

Jamiel Alexander and Breeanna Decker
The afternoon panel, Opportunity Youth United: Advocacy and the Future of Work, focused on the role that “opportunity youth”a term often used for out-of-school, out-of-work young adults aged 16–24can play through activism in shaping how tomorrow’s economy and the future workforce look like. The panel was moderated by Jamiel Alexander, Senior Fellow at the Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions, and featured Shawnice Jackson, Youth Advocate/Co-Founder of National Council of Young Leaders; and Breeanna Decker, Youth Leader at Urban Strategies Council. As former out-of-school, out-of-work young adults now leading a national movement to increase opportunity and decrease poverty, this panel motivated the audience to think about their personal perseverance and their role in activism.
Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa and Councilmember Rafael Espinal


Commissioner Bill Chong of NYC's DYCD
Equally inspiring was our conversation with public officials, kicked off by Bill Chong, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development. Commissioner Chong advised participants to ask themselves what their passions are and to link that to careers that motivate them to get up in the morning. This conversation continued with elected officials Councilmember Rafael Espinal and Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa, who both recommended young adults put dedication into everything they’re doing, while speaking about the experiences that led them to seek public service as a career. The conversation with elected officials was facilitated by Marissa Martin, Northeast Director at Young Invincibles.

Finally, we had two sets of breakout sessions that provided a platform to continue and dig deeper into the conversations started during the panel discussions.


Therese Workman facilitates a breakout session
Linking Your Passion and Experience to Careers Breakout Sessions:
Young adult participants
  • You, Inc.: Find Your Strengths, Be Your Own Boss, and Launch Your Career, talked about what it takes to be a thriving independent worker, how to get gigs, make money and launch a career; presented by Therese Workman, NYC Program Manager at Samaschool.
  • From Beginner to Expert: How to Boost Employability, provided tools to self-assess employability, increase marketability and reach job search targets; presented by The Knowledge House’s Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Joe Carrano, and Talent Manager, Samia Lemfadli.
  • The Five Pillars of Leadership CUNY ASAP Offers, provided tools for addressing academic hurdles in college, including resources available through CUNY Accelerated Study in Associate Programs; presented by Ryan Hamilton, Outreach Coordinator at CUNY ASAP
  • Authenticity: Leveraging Your Unique Identity as a Competitive Advantage in Today’s Workforce, got participants thinking about connecting their abilities and identities to company cultures where they best fit; presented by Albert N. Kakudji, Chief of Operations at Made in Brownsville
  • What Does It Take To Be An Entrepreneur in Entertainment & Real Estate, shared the speaker’s experience on learned strategies to be a successful entrepreneur; presented by Michael Daniels, Licensed Salesperson specializing in Residential, Commercial Sales and New Development at Bold New York. 
Young adult participants

YOUR Voice and the Future of Work Breakout Session
  • Leading Movements in Today’s World: Advocacy & the Workforce, engaged participants in an exercise to develop solutions around issues that directly impact their communities; presented by Samantha Johnson, Coalition Co-Chair at the NYC Chapter’s Million Hoodies Movement for Justice.
  • Planning for a Stronger Future in Our Communities, helped participants connect their own personal moral codes and values to lived experiences that have been impacted by structural barriers such as employment, education, or housing; presented by Roosevelt Institute’s Program Associates, Nicole Annunziata and Jade Wilenchik.
  • Breaking Through the Noise: Using Op-Eds to Make Your Voice Heard, taught what an op-ed is, how to write a compelling op-ed, and how to get it published; presented by Paydon Miller, Press Secretary at Young Invincibles.
  • The Power of Peers & The Ever Growing Workforce, explored Youth Peer Advocacy (YPA), discussed what it means to be a YPA, and engaged in interactive activities to explore the YPA role.
  • Informed Opinions Purposeful Advocacy, shared strategies from the presenter’s current and past work for engaging in community advocacy to bring positive change; presented by Breeanna Decker, Youth Leader at Urban Strategies Council.

Youth Voice - a common thread of both days

Young adult participants

While each day was developed for and targeted different audiences, youth voice, youth empowerment and learning were common threads of both. A recurring and powerful segment that captured these themes each day was a performance by the Truthworker Theatre Company, a social justice-based, hip-hop theatre company whose members, young adults themselves, write and produce their performances. Under the direction of Samara Gaev, who facilitated full-room conversations after each presentation, the group’s performance raised awareness around race, gender and economic justice, and helped participants make the connection between these issues and the future of work.

Truthworker Theater performance



Monday, July 9, 2018

Adapting to the Future of Work: #GroundUp - REGISTER TODAY

REGISTER TODAY
Breakfast and Networking from 8:30-9:00 a.m. 


Welcome and Overview: From the Ground Up
  • Marjorie Parker, President & CEO, JobsFirstNYC

Changing Workforce Systems
  • Ananda Martin-Caughey, Affiliated Scholar, Urban Institute

Looking Back to Forge Ahead
  • Laurie Dien, Vice President - Programs, The Pinkerton Foundation
  • Betsy Dubovsky, Executive Director, The Staten Island Foundation
  • Jim Marley, Coordinator of CUNY, Bronx Opportunity Network Interface Lead, Good Shepherd Services
  • MODERATED BY Stanley Richards, Executive Vice President, The Fortune Society, JobsFirstNYC Board of Directors 

Ignite Presentations: The Power of Partnership
  • The Bronx Opportunity Network (BON) – presented by Elizabeth Hoagland, Director Bronx Youth Center, The Door 
  • The Lower East Side Employment Network (LESEN) – presented by Gaspar Caro, LESEN Coordinator, and Simon Chiew, Chief Strategy Officer, Chinese-American Planning Council, Inc. 
  • The Young Adult Sectoral Employment Network (YASEP) – presented by Monique De La Oz, Senior Director of Learning and Career Development, Phipps Neighborhoods, and Lowell Herschberger, Director of Career and Education Programs, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation 
  • Youth Workforce Initiative Network of Staten Island (Youth WINS)– presented by Brian Licata, Deputy Director of Workforce Development, United Activities Unlimited 

The Young Adult Workforce Opportunity Agenda
  • Marjorie Parker

Keynote Speaker: The Power of Community
  • Karim Abouelnaga, Founder & CEO, Practice Makes Perfect with introduction from Young Invincibles Impact Fellow, Djibiri Kaba

Systems Alignment and Impact: Building Sustainable Strategies
  • Angie KamathUniversity Dean City University of New York
  • Abby MarquandVice President and Program Officer, JPMorgan Chase Global Philanthropy
  • Kimberly Pham, Activist, National Council of Young Leaders, Opportunity Youth United
  • Robert Sainz, Assistant General Manager, Economic & Workforce Development Department, City of Los Angeles
  • John Thorson, Hennepin County Workforce Development Director, Minnesota  
  • MODERATED BY Alan Momeyer, Vice President Emeritus, Human Resources, The Loews Corporation; Chair, JobsFirstNYC Board of Directors 
Closing & Invitation to Celebrate
  • Alan Momeyer and Marjorie Parker

Performance, Celebration & Networking
  • Truthworker Theatre Company
REGISTER HERE

Copyright © 2018 JobsFirstNYC, All rights reserved.


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Monday, April 2, 2018

Benchmarking for YASEP Partners Selected November 2017

Benchmarking for YASEP Partners Selected

Five Partnerships of JobsFirstNYC's YASEP Network Selected to Baseline, Test, and Strengthen Employer Engagement Capacity


JobsFirstNYC has partnered with the Field Building Hub at Workforce Professionals Training Institute to work with a select group of Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project YASEP member organizations to baseline, test and strengthen their capacity to engage employers, using the Success Drivers developed through the Workforce Benchmarking Network.

A cohort of organizations engaged in JobsFirstNYC’s YASEP initiative will assess and strengthen their employer engagement practices through customized training, technical assistance, and learning community sessions designed to help organizations apply the Success Driver guidelines to their work. Workforce Benchmarking Network Success Drivers is a nationally recognized framework of four evidence-based guidelines—Adaptive Organization, Qualified Workforce, Engaged Businesses, and Funding Sustainability—developed with input from practitioners who are part of the Workforce Benchmarking Network and who represent “higher performers” among their peers. This two-year joint initiative will strengthen employer engagement standards of practice among and between young adult workforce development providers and the business community. 

About YASEP: YASEP is a first-of-its-kind effort to test whether sector strategies, previously established through research to directly benefit adult job seekers, can be specifically applied to organizations serving young adults who are out-of-school/work and the employers that may hire them. Click here for more information on the project, the participating collaborations, and related publications.

About the Workforce Benchmarking Network: The Workforce Benchmarking Network  connects community-based organizations providing workforce development services around the country—along with public and private funders and other intermediaries—to support better results for job seekers, employers, and communities.

The partnerships selected to participate in this initiative include:




Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation partners with  transportation and culinary employers to offer credentialing options for young people leading to a career pathway.




Green City Forcewith partners Con Edison, C+C Apartment 
Management, and NYCHA’s REES focus on career pathways in the sustainability sector.




The Knowledge House, partnering on the Bronx Digital Pipeline with Hostos Community College and Per Scholas, developing pathways into cutting edge technology jobs by mobilizing pipeline partners who contribute to the Bronx tech ecosystem.




Roundabout Theatre Company in partnership with the IATSE union and The Door provide training and job placement for young people interested in technical theatre careers.






Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center partners with employers to train for careers in hospitality and food service. Isaacs Center also offers trainings in community health and education and child development.




The Benchmarking for YASEP Project is made possible with the generous support of the following funders: Andrus Family Fund, Ira W. DeCamp Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, Mizuho USA Foundation, and The Pinkerton Foundation.

Friday, March 9, 2018

JobsFirstNYC and New Visions for Public Schools Host:

Building Partnerships:
Bringing Together Workforce & School Leaders

 

A JobsFirstNYC and New Visions for Public Schools Convening

March 6, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at UJA - Federation


On March 6, 2018, JobsFirstNYC and New Visions for Public Schools hosted Building Partnerships: Bringing Together Workforce & School Leaders, which brought together school leaders—including community-based organization program directors and school principals—and workforce development leaders to build bridges between education and workforce development. We also shared the preliminary design framework and the Request to Participate to solicit ideas from prospective partners for an initiative we are launching.

Jennie Soler-McIntosh, Vice President of Community and Family Engagement for New Visions for Public Schools, gave opening remarks that provided an overview for the day and a summary of the event that JobsFirstNYC and New Visions for Public Schools hosted on January 30, 2018, Stem the the Flow: Reimagining the School-to-Work Experience for Transfer High School Students. At the January event, a range of stakeholders from government, secondary and postsecondary education, workforce development, philanthropy, and other areas began a broader dialogue that identified challenges and opportunities to better connecting Transfer High School students to the economic life of New York City. Highlights from that event include the following:

  • Too many over-age, under-credited Transfer High School students are at risk of becoming part of the out-of-school, out-of-work population and face many of the same structural barriers.
  •  The Transfer High School design, with an embedded Learning to Work partner providing wrap-around supports, is a unique asset to these schools that can be leveraged even more.
  •  Schools are not currently well equipped to integrate postsecondary readiness or to create structural on-ramps and bridge strategies that will more easily connect students to postsecondary opportunities.

During her opening remarks at the March 6 event, Soler-McIntosh reinforced the three high-level goals of the partnership between JobsFirstNYC and New Visions for Public Schools: (1) universalize career exploration and awareness, (2) embed advanced career development into schools, and (3) create on-ramps and bridges to sector-focused postsecondary opportunities across the 12 schools within the New Visions for Public Schools network.

Following these remarks, participants engaged in a roundtable discussion in which they shared experiences about challenges, lessons learned, and opportunities in formal and informal partnerships with other organizations. Key takeaways from this conversation included the need to have clarity on roles, setting expectations up front, being open to learning and growing one’s own work, and being adaptable to changing dynamics.

Lucinda Mendez, Director of Transfer Schools for New Visions for Public Schools, then provided a detailed overview of the initiative’s preliminary framework. Mendez described the four-phase framework that students will experience during their time in school:

In Phase 1, the Career Awareness and Exploration phase, students will experience an enhanced, integrated curriculum delivered in the context of the target industry, participate in project-based activities with their peers, and engage in career awareness and exploration activities (such as workplace tours and job shadowing) that support both career development and credit recovery goals.

In Phase 2, the Advanced Career Development phase, students will continue to experience an enhanced, integrated curriculum delivered in the context of the target industry, participate in project-based activities with their peers, and engage in more in-depth career exploration and preparation activities (such as internships and work experience) that support both career development and credit recovery goals.

In Phase 3, the Sector-Focused Postsecondary Training phase, which will typically begin while the students are still in high school, students will participate in defined degree and certificate programs, engage in occupational skills training and advanced peer learning experiences, and be supported through continued case management and a peer support network.

In Phase 4, the Launch Career phase, students will continue to participate in peer networking activities and receive support to ensure their retention and advancement.

Following a full-room conversation regarding the presented framework and with the aim of creating a deeper and shared understanding of labor market opportunities for Transfer High School students, Pam Hoberman from the NYC Labor Market Information Service (LMIS) presented on labor market trends for young adults in New York City. This was critical to identifying a range of in-demand sectors with occupations that can serve as points of entry for young adults to launch careers. Although the data and presentation from LMIS will not dictate exactly which sectors or occupations the initiative will focus on, it provided an important tool to inform conversations and potential partnerships.

Lucinda Mendez then facilitated a 50-minute activity entitled “Journey Mapping: Reimagining the School-to-Work Experience for Transfer High School Students,” where participants worked in groups of three—with at least one school representative and one workforce representative in each group—to build a particular student profile and identify a career pathway that the student may choose. The groups mapped out how their student would get from where they are now to the career opportunity they chose. This included building career awareness, undertaking preparation and exploration activities, and engaging in work-based learning and internships. Groups also identified opportunities to build a contextualized curriculum that connected off-campus work experience to the teachings of their core academics. Important highlights include the following:

  • Workforce development strategies must be integrated with the core life skills and social-emotional wrap-around supports that students need to be successful.
  • Employers should be included in these conversations to help provide opportunities and to inform programs and curricula.
  • Student feedback loops should be part of any good program design to ensure that their voice is being heard.
  • Program designs must be student centered and should be approached from a strength-based perspective.
  • The knowledge and communications gaps between workforce and school are a barrier that requires intentional space to think and build together.
  • There is a need for capacity building and professional development all around

Kevin Stump, Vice President of Policy, Communications, and In-School Practice of JobsFirstNYC, then introduced the full framework for the initiative being launched by JobsFirstNYC and New Visions for Public Schools and shared and presented the Request to Participate. The Request to Participate is the vehicle we are using to identify key workforce development partners that we will invite into a learning community and provide a planning grant to.

To close the event, Marjorie Parker, President and CEO of JobsFirstNYC, asked the following groups to identify themselves: principals, Learning to Work leaders, workforce trainers, CUNY and other higher education representatives, Department of Education staff, government leaders, and staff who work with foster youth, youth with disabilities, immigrant youth, youth with criminal justice experience, and other groups. She noted, “You are all here for a reason. You should see yourself in this framework. We invite you to join JobsFirstNYC and New Visions for Public Schools to break down barriers and create clearer pathways for these students to access the economic life of New York City and lead successful lives.”

To learn more about New Visions transfer schools, click here.

To learn more about JobsFirstNYC and workforce readiness, click here.