In November we wrapped up a tremendously gratifying engagement with the Jobs for New Yorkers Task Force, the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development and NYCEDC. The result, Career Pathways: One City Working Together, outlined a comprehensive set of new workforce development policies that emphasize training investments that will enable New Yorkers to secure quality jobs in growing sectors, advance in their careers and earn family-supporting wages.
The strategy recognizes—and builds on—the greatest strengths of the existing system. On the public side, it will continue to engage employers as a key stakeholder and maintain a strong focus on outcomes. It also will leverage the important role played by private workforce funders, especially their successful training investments. Even more exciting, it creates opportunities for greater collaboration between the public and private systems.
Career Pathways also refocuses the system in several highly promising ways by:
- Providing New Yorkers across the entire skill spectrum with opportunities to connect to jobs, upgrade skills, and pursue clear avenues for advancement;
- Expanding sector-based strategies that invest employers in the workforce system and link training investments to the skills employers need;
- Improving job quality to promote worker stability in ways that benefit employers and employees alike, providing employers with a more productive workforce and workers with basic security that comes from practices such as offering regular schedules and paid leave; and
- Leveraging the city’s other economic development investments to create more local employment opportunities.
While these ambitious plans are still being refined, we congratulate the City for establishing a bold agenda. These policies hold great promise for jobseekers, workers and businesses. We look forward to working with workforce system stakeholders—funders, practitioners and thought leaders—to make this promise a reality.
Other Project News
In October, Mayor de Blasio’s announced an infusion of $130M in sorely needed capital funds for NYC Parks & Recreation to improve open spaces in underserved neighborhoods. Public Works Partners’ recent report for the advocacy group New Yorkers for Parks made recommendations on how the city’s parks department could improve its capital project management and use funding more effectively. (It builds upon the knowledge gained in several engagements over the past two years to help NYC Parks and NYS Parks improve performance and outcomes of their Maintenance and Operations divisions.) We also made the case for an increase in dedicated capital investments by the city instead of the predominant piecemeal approach to funding neighborhood park improvements through city council members. The City has made the commitment to do just that in dozens of neighborhoods across the city.
Public Works Partners worked with a real estate developer in Brooklyn to explore groundbreaking strategies for pairing a proposed residential project with manufacturing job opportunities on-site. We identified the most compatible business types in a mixed-use setting. And we identified important linkages with local community-based job training and economic develop organizations to help ensure the manufacturing spaces remain affordable for businesses, and that industrial job opportunities are accessible to local residents. We’re excited to see that several other developers are exploring similar strategies and are looking forward to contributing ideas.
And the Center for an Urban Future recently published another report on NYC’s small businesses authored by Mark Foggin. In Small Business Success, Mark explores why so few of the city’s small firms—including its successful ones—grow to become medium and larger firms. If just one-third of the city’s 165,000 microbusinesses added one new employee, it would mean a stunning 55,000 additional jobs in neighborhoods citywide. The report details how New York could get there.