Increased Service, Improved Outcomes Among Change Capital Fund Grantees

Our work was featured in the Change Capital Fund’s Newsletter this month. Check out the full article below, discussing how we evaluated improved outcomes among their grantees in the areas of workforce development, youth and adult education, and housing. Since receiving their grants, these organizations have continuously increased participation in their programs and delivered better quality results for participants.

Increased Service, Improved Outcomes Among Change Capital Fund Grantees in Year 4

By Celeste Frye and Doneliza Joaquin

In the third year of the Change Capital Fund (CCF), grantees – Cypress Hill Local Development Corporation (CHLDC), St. Nick’s Alliance (St. Nick’s), Fifth Avenue Committee’s Stronger Together (Stronger Together) and New Settlement Apartments (New Settlement) – have continued their collective efforts to reduce poverty in their neighborhoods through workforce, adult education, youth education, and housing development.

The following information is based on a report produced for CCF by Public Works Partners:

Year 3 Findings:

  • Programs have maintained or increased participation.
  • Quality of job placements increased as represented by hourly wage, number of hours worked, and benefits received.
  • Retention is up in workforce programs.
  • College access programs exceeded goals and citywide outcomes.
  • Adult education training increased participation and exceeded achievement goals.

In year 3, grantees served 9,777 participants in workforce, education for children and youth, and adult education programs. Since Year 1, grantees programs have seen an 81% growth in the number of individuals served.


Grantees served 858 workforce participants in Year 3, up 128% percent from Year 1. Forty five percent of participants are between the ages of 17 and 24, 95% identify as Black or Hispanic, 43% received government benefits within the past year (e.g. TANF, food stamps, Medicaid), and 15% of participants did not have a high-school degree or equivalent at the time of program enrollment.


  • 200 of 425 placements were identified as having benefits, such as health insurance.
  • The average hourly wage for participants increased from $10.55 in Year 1 to $12.82 in Year 3.  FAC saw the largest growth of nearly $2 an hour.
  • The average participant hours worked per week continued to increase to 33.89 hours per week.

Education for Children and Youth

Grantees served 8,071 participants in their education for children and youth programs, up 30% from Year 1 (6,189). Thirty-three percent of participants are in grades kindergarten to 3rd and 68% identify as Hispanic and 23% as Black. Most participants are served in after-school programs.

High School Graduation

Eighty-two percent of 501 participants anticipated to earn their high school degree in Year 3 achieved that goal, compared with 70% among all NYC students and 65% and 64% for Black and Hispanic students, respectively, regardless of income level.

College Access and Retention

New Settlement’s rates of enrollment for participants in their college access programs at 81% far exceeds the NYC rate of 55% for students overall. In 3 years, grantees helped 1,638 students enroll in college. 1,218 of those participants are still enrolled.

Adult Education

Grantees served 848 participants in Year 3, up 12% from Y2 (754) and 234% from Y1 (254). 37% of participants were 25 to 39 years old. 59% identified as Hispanic and 29% as Black. 75% of participants did not have a high school degree or equivalent at time of enrollment.


St. Nick’s has grown its housing development program from 36 to 75 to 162 over the CCF years. For CHDLC, in addition to the 29 Cypress Village units completed in Year 1, 54 senior housing units are expected to be completed in Year 4. New Settlement will contribute 60 housing units in Year 4.

Local Business Engagement with a Purpose – Creating Actionable, Sustainable Development Plans

Last week, our client the Long Island City Partnership released the first phase of the first-ever Long Island City Comprehensive Plan. This report presents findings from a wide-ranging research effort, and recommends strategies for guiding LIC’s development to not only preserve but also capitalize on the neighborhood’s diverse mix of uses. We developed and analyzed core components of the research supporting the report, in particular by engaging local businesses. Through a survey and series of supplemental focus groups and interviews, we supported LICP to understand how businesses currently operate. Our research illuminated the central challenges of a variety of local stakeholders, and shaped LICP’s thinking on how to support the businesses, cultural institutions, and community organizations that make up this changing neighborhood.

licstudyarea-2016-12-01As we reflected on our work with LICP, we got to thinking about planning for change in all New York City neighborhoods – the ever-evolving metropolis where we live and work. We are big believers in the power of collaborative, community processes to create development plans that are actionable, sustainable over time, and make sense for the communities in which they are created. In particular, when it comes to making smart decisions about economic development interventions, the on-the-ground insights of businesses are essential to fostering a vibrant economic ecosystem. For instance, we knew that LIC was a dynamic, thriving community – with rapidly expanding residential units – but we couldn’t be sure its businesses were planning on staying in the area. Our business survey confirmed that 70% of businesses are, and that 87% anticipate growing while they do. We could then delve into their needs through focus groups and conversations to determine which policies will support growth and create a plan tailored for LIC businesses.

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“Career Pathways”: A New Vision for New York City’s Workforce Development System


Public Works Partners was proud to attend Mayor de Blasio’s announcement of a new vision for New York City’s workforce development system. It was the culmination of a six month engagement with the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, the Economic Development Corporation and the Jobs For New Yorker’s Task Force to articulate strategies that will transform our city’s workforce system, increasing its value to job seekers, current workers and employers.

This new vision builds on two of the existing system’s greatest strengths—an outcome orientation and a proven ability to serve employers. What’s new is a substantially greater emphasis on education and training investments, a strong focus on promoting job quality, and efforts to build a true system by better coordinating the City’s workforce agencies and better integrating economic and workforce development initiatives.

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