Strategic Planning Projects
NYCHA’s Office of Community Programs and Development provides a broad range of supportive services to residents at over 180 community centers. The Authority engaged our team to assess its existing service delivery systems and create a new, more sustainable approach with improved outcomes for residents. We developed a holistic picture of NYCHA’s options for service delivery by: documenting existing services and similar programs in each community; interviewing stakeholders at public agencies and non-profit organizations to incorporate their perspective and to explore the potential for partnering; and analyzing NYCHA’s finances for potential cost savings or revenue generation. We used these findings to recommend a strategy that seeks to provide NYCHA residents with high-quality social services, ensure that the funding streams supporting them are sustainable, and establish an internal management structure to administer the new model.
The retirement of a dean provided the college with the challenge of filling a leadership vacancy, but also with the opportunity to reorganize a division to better manage a growing portfolio of programs. Public Works Partners was engaged to assess the division’s management needs and organizational options. Through a series of working sessions with key staff, we reviewed current and potential programs, financial and technology support needs, administrative and communication challenges, and opportunities to enhance collaboration. We also examined best practices of leading community colleges around the country. After reviewing findings with the college, we recommended an organizational structure that aligned staff by subject areas rather than funding sources. We also outlined a series of managerial initiatives to increase accountability and transparency while reducing the administrative burden on program management staff. Finally, we developed a job description for the new dean and participated in the college’s candidate search. The division successfully hired a dynamic new dean and is now better positioned to manage a growing portfolio of programs while furthering its strong record of program innovation.
We conducted a study of the labor market of Manhattan below 14th Street to identify emerging sectors for which LESEN’s clients would be promising fits. In addition to analyzing labor and census data, we incorporated input from additional workforce service providers, employers, merchants associations, business improvement districts, and labor economists. The resulting report was used to define LESEN’s strategy to recruit employers who would serve as partners in creating job opportunities for young adults in Lower Manhattan.
We helped the College to execute a key aspect of its five-year strategic plan: to create more pathways from noncredit continuing education courses to degree-granting programs, and to provide opportunities for degree earners to top-up their training with additional credentials and certificates available through continuing education courses. In both instances, students can expect better post-college success, either by pursuing advanced education or by increasing their earning potential. The strategy also supports students in remedial or vocational programs to matriculate into certificate- and degree-granting programs that are connected to high-demand jobs. We worked with key stakeholders from the Hostos’s credit and noncredit programs to identify opportunities to collaborate on new initiatives that will allow the college to execute its strategic plan and are currently documenting our recommendations.
A Brooklyn-based nonprofit with a 30-year record of successfully connecting youth with GEDs and job training saw an opportunity to expand its model—but they wanted to carefully consider options for increasing their impact. Should they provide a wider range of services to their existing clients? Or move into new neighborhoods? Or new cities? As part of a strategic plan for the organization, our team worked with stakeholders to compile evidence of need in different NYC neighborhoods. We then created a framework and decision-making tool that has allowed the board to assess opportunities for expansion with a clear sense of the challenges and promises of various options.
A venerable member-based nonprofit that supports the needs of manufacturers and other blue-collar employers in Brooklyn found that increased demand for its business services was outpacing its capacity to respond. As part of a process that led to a three-year strategic plan, we worked with the board and staff to focus their efforts on services that offered their members the greatest value. We also helped the organization to identify targeted sources of funding and revenue, including novel opportunities for earning mission-consonant income. The result was a plan that allowed SBIDC to deliver services that meant the most for its constituents in a way that would be financially sustainable over the long-term.
Public Works leveraged its long-standing association with GMDC to help them tell their story effectively in a recent annual report. GMDC’s mission is to provide low-cost space and long-term leases to nascent and artisanal manufacturers who otherwise would be priced out of NYC. In doing so, the organization helps maintain a diverse economy that includes living-wage jobs for blue collar workers. We used our journalistic experience and knowledge of GMDC to interview a half-dozen of its tenants and succinctly share their success stories. The result is not only a report that is an important status report for GMDC and its stakeholders, but a compelling document that will help GMDC to tap philanthropic and public sector funders to support its mission.