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.
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.
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.
JobsFirstNYC began the planning for place-based partnerships after 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) and the Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project (YASEP), which emphasize a systems-level approach; engage employers from the initial stages of partnership development; and use data to inform their models. These efforts also emphasize 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.
Youth Workforce Initiative Network of Staten Island (Youth 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.
JobsFirstNYC is currently working with a variety of stakeholders on the development of a restaurant industry partnership between employers and workforce organizations. Although in its early stages, the partnership is progressing steadily as a result of the cooperation of all involved: restaurant industry employers, service providers, young adults and partners at American Express. JobsFirstNYC’s goal is to develop a pilot that will ultimately create a pipeline for out-of-school and out-of-work young adults to access employment opportunities in the restaurant industry in a more meaningful and lasting way. The feedback and involvement that we are currently soliciting from stakeholders, through facilitated meetings, surveys and the established Task Group, will inform and determine what this potential model will look like.
Click here for an update on the Restaurant Industry Partnership.
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 providing 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.
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/work and the employers that may hire them.
This three-year pilot and implementation project will involve 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:
Click here to read more about YASEP partnerships.