JobsFirstNYC Projects


In a labor market with limited job growth, inter-organizational collaboration — bringing together the resources and expertise of multiple agencies — represents the most promising strategy for moving disconnected young adults toward self-sufficiency. JobsFirstNYC acts as a catalyst in the creation and ongoing viability of innovative collaboratives, providing technical assistance, neutral facilitation, and additional funding to implement novel service strategies that boost opportunities for young adults.


Benchmarking for YASEP

JobsFirstNYC, the Hub at WPTI are partnering with a group of JobsFirstNYC’s 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. This multi-year joint initiative will strengthen employer engagement standards of practice among and between young adult workforce development providers and the business community.

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 Force, with 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.

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. More information on the project, the participating collaborations, and related publications is available here.

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 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.

Bronx Opportunity Network (BON)

BON logo

Established in 2008 with funding and technical support from JobsFirstNYC, BON expands college access for young adults who otherwise would likely not pursue post-secondary education. This partnership between community based organizations and the City University of New York (CUNY) provides young adults in the South Bronx — ranked as the nation's poorest Congressional District in 2010 — with intensive tutoring and social support to improve their academic skills, overcome personal barriers, and enroll in and complete college. One of the aims of this project is to identify potential changes in system-wide policy, such as the re-administering of the COMPASS placement exam at all CUNY schools. that will remove some of the barriers to post-secondary education for young adults citywide.

Download our BON Overview Brief for more information about the program.



JobsFirstNYC, in collaboration with partners Center for Youth Employment and Social Finance, is piloting on a retention services initiative, CareerLift, that will aim to reduce turnover in young adult employment. Focused on offering employers services for young adults after they have begun working as additional challenges arise, CareerLift is a first of its kind in New York City and will test the feasibility of the model in a new market. The services, which will be provided by partners Seedco and Madison Strategies Group, are based on the highly successful model, WorkLife Partnerships, wherein workforce providers offer a targeted suite of quality improvement services to employers on-site in order to improve job retention outcomes for employees. Seedco will be expanding upon the success of their Youth Advancing in the Workplace program, a culinary-focused sector retention model, while Madison Strategies Group will work deeply with an existing employer partner to build out a new set of services. In addition, partners Social Finance are working with our direct service providers to determine the feasibility for a pay-for-success funding structure going forward, and JobsFirstNYC will offer a set of learning communities in order to institutionalize the efforts and allow for cross-organizational learning. A continuation of JobsFirstNYC's work to engage the business community as a part of the solution, CareerLift represents a wide variety of stakeholders coming together in order to advance the knowledge and capacity of the workforce field in New York City.

Download our CareerLift Launch News Release from January 2018.

Download the report from Social Finance on the Pay for Success Model from Spring 2019.


Lower East Side Employment Network (LESEN)


Conceived in 2007, LESEN brings together the resources of community agencies with long ties to one of the most dynamic, diverse and storied neighborhoods in America. While the Lower East Side area has experienced significant regeneration in recent years, a significant proportion of its residents (many of whom are recent immigrants or reside in public housing) continue to live in poverty. To maximize the employment opportunities presented by the influx of new businesses, LESEN members have joined forces to lower the barriers to access to quality jobs in high-demand industries for Lower East Side residents. LESEN works closely with the hospitality sector, which has a significant and growing presence in the area, to design customized training programs and streamline recruiting processes for hotels and related businesses. JobsFirstNYC provides funding to support a Network Coordinator, who acts as the key staff person bringing all partner organizations, employers and community stakeholders to the Network.

Download our LESEN Overview Brief, LESEN report (May 2015), or visit their website.


Place-Based Young Adult Workforce Partnerships Initiative

JobsFirstNYC began the planning for place-based partnerships following the release of our 2013 report, Barriers to Entry, in which we identified the 18 communities wherein more than 50 percent of New York City’s out-of-school, out-of-work young adults reside. Focusing our attention on those communities, this initiative draws on the frameworks and lessons learned from existing JobsFirstNYC partnerships, including the Bronx Opportunity Network (BON) the Lower East Side Employment Network (LESEN), and the Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project (YASEP). All of these emphasize a systems-level approach and use data to inform their models, and the YASEP and LESEN also engages employers from the initial stages of partnership development. These efforts include collaboration between community-based organizations and community college partners. By providing convening opportunities and customized technical assistance, we are able to oversee transformations from competitive or unaligned groups of organizations that operate in silos to synchronized partnerships that better serve local young adults with a wider, more diverse range of resources.


Reimagine the School-to-Work Experience

In partnership with New Visions for Public Schools, JobsFirstNYC is launching an initiative to reimagine the school-to-work experience for Transfer High School students by (1) universalizing career exploration and awareness, (2) embedding advanced career development into schools, and (3) building on-ramps and bridges to sector-focused postsecondary opportunities across 10 Transfer High Schools and two AIM Charter High Schools within the New Visions for Public Schools network. 

To learn more about why JobsFirstNYC and New Visions for Public Schools are partnering, our framework, and the guidelines to submit a proposal, read the Request to Participate, which is due by April 10, 2018 by 11:59 PM. Selected partners who responded to the Request to Participate process will be awarded a planning grant--ranging from $25,000 to $50,000--to join a Learning Community with school leaders (principals and Learning To Work program directors) to design an approach that works best for their students. Applications are to be submitted to Junior Manon at 

JobsFirstNYC and New Visions for Public Schools have co-hosted a series of convenings to inform this work and engage our collective stakeholders. Read the full recap from Building Partnerships: Bringing Together Workforce & School Leaders on March 6, 2018 and the full recap from Stem the the Flow: Reimagining the School-to-Work Experience for Transfer High School Students on January 30, 2018.

Check out our one-page framework visual. 



Seasonal Talent Exchange (STE) Initiative

In partnership with our Employer Leadership Council, JobsFirstNYC has developed a project called the Seasonal Talent Exchange. In the Seasonal Talent Exchange (STE) model, young workers develop universal customer service and retail skills by working year-round in complimentary seasonal roles at more than one business. Community-based organizations provide wrap-around supports to young workers and facilitate seamless transitions between seasons and across employers. The effort will focus on building transferrable skills and adaptive capacities for young adults while helping them secure employment throughout the year. It will also provide partner businesses with well-trained, more experienced workers over time. In New York City, up to 40 percent of the general population describes itself as working part time—and 54 percent of young people ages 18 to 24 report working part-time. Further, many growth industries involve seasonal or part-time jobs, particularly retail and food service. The STE represents an opportunity to redefine how employers engage and sustain part-time workers by enabling them to transition to year-round employment, which will improve their economic security and enable them to gain broader work experience. The initiative will empower young workers to build leadership skills, experience, and develop networks across multiple employment sectors.


Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project (YASEP)

YASEP logo

Started in 2013, the Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project 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 and out of work and the employers that may hire them.

This pilot and implementation project has involved the development of multiple sector-specific organizational collaborations — at least one CBO partner, one industry skills training entity, and one (or more) sector-specific employer or employer intermediary group — working together to create customized pathways to employment for young adults. The first year involves planning, development, and the provision of intensive technical assistance for the proposed partnerships. The last two years will focus on implementation of program services. Collectively, we hope to serve 500 young people among the five established partnerships. This project will feature a learning community in which practitioners, employers, funders, and others will be brought together to build organizational capacity to do this work.

JobsFirstNYC conceived of this project, and raised resources among local and national funders for its planning and development. Each approved partnership received a planning grant, provided through JobsFirstNYC. JobsFirstNYC has been working closely with local and national funders to broker the resources for implementation grants in 2014.

The project formally began with a launch meeting on April 23, 2013, followed by events in May, where we released the RFP, and in June. More detailed information about the YASEP is available below.

In 2016, the partnerships of YASEP are:

  1. Comprehensive Development Inc. (CDI) and New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare (NYACH), partnering with Borough of Manhattan Community College and Primary Care Development Corporation, prepare students for careers in healthcare while earning a Certified Medical Assistant credential.
  2. Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation partnering with Complete Management Solutions, CitiStorage, LLC, Total Transportation Corp., and St. Nicks Alliance, to develop career lattices in the transportation, warehousing, and logistics sector.
  3. Green City Force with partners Con Edison, Franklin EnergyL+M Development Partners, Inc., C+C Management, and NYCHA REES to focus on the sustainability sector preparing young adults from NYCHA to succeed in careers related to the clean energy economy.
  4. The Knowledge House partnering as the Bronx Digital Pipeline with Hostos Community College and Per Scholas to develop pathways into technology jobs for out-of-school, out-of-work young adults in the Bronx by leveraging technology tools and a collective impact approach to connect to existing training programs and the city-wide job opportunities available in the technology industry.
  5. Per Scholas partnering with The Door, Comprehensive Development Inc. (CDI), Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation (NMIC), and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce to focus on the Information Technology sector.
  6. Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI) partnering with Cooperative Home Care Associates, Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners, NYACH and Youth Development Institute, to find better ways to serve the increasing number of young people seeking training and employment in the home healthcare industry.
  7. Phipps Neighborhoods partnering with Montefiore Medical Center and Hostos Community College, to develop healthcare career pathways for young adults who have academic skill gaps and little work experience.
  8. Queens Community House partnering as Queens Connect with Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House, Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation, and Sunnyside Community Services to work together with employers in the food industry to prepare and place young jobseekers in the sector.
  9. Roundabout Theatre Company is partnering with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Roundabout's employment partners include: the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, BAM, The Public Theater, and Signature Theatre Company. Their goal is to develop a pathway for under-resourced and under-represented young adults to gain access to technical theatre careers.
  10. Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center, Inc. (Isaacs Center) partnering as the Guest Services Collaborative with Asphalt Green, Hilton Garden Inn, Ink48, Barnes & Noble, and the Museum of the City of New York to focus on careers in the hospitality sector and develop career ladders for out-of-school, out-of-work young adults who are participants in the Isaacs Center's workforce development program and help them gain access to ongoing training and post-secondary opportunities.
  11. Wildlife Conservation Society working to develop a system for the training, hiring, retaining, and promoting of young adults from the Bronx in careers in hospitality, food services and retail, at WCS’s Bronx Zoo.

Click here to go to the YASEP Network website.

Download the report detailing YASEP’s development, themes and findings from the Learning Community.

Click here to read more about YASEP partnerships.


Youth Workforce Initiative Network of Staten Island (WINS)

For 18 months, JobsFirstNYC worked with The Staten Island Foundation and a group of committed local organizational partners to develop an unprecedented borough-wide young adult workforce partnership – the Youth Workforce Initiative of Staten Island, or Youth WINS. Youth WINS is the first formal partnership in the borough to articulate a systemic goal of reducing its overall population of out-of-school and out-of-work 16- to 24-year-olds. The partnership steering committee is comprised of representatives from ten local organizations that are invested in the future of young adults in the borough: African Refuge; College of Staten Island; Empowerment Zone; New York Center for Interpersonal Development (NYCID); Parent to Parent NY, Inc.; Salvation Army; Staten Island Chamber of Commerce; Staten Island Employment Education Consortium; Staten Island Mental Health Society; and United Activities Unlimited (UAU)

Download our report on the development of Youth WINS. Download our Youth WINS Overview Brief.

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