5 new Members appointed to the NYC Employment and Training Coalition Board of Directors

New York, NY (March 12, 2020) – Today, the NYC Employment and Training Coalition (NYCETC) welcomed five new Board Members:

  • Simon Chiew, Chief Strategy Officer, Chinese-American Planning Council
  • Lakythia Ferby, Executive Director, STRIVE NY
  • Abe Mendez, Managing Director, Per Scholas NY
  • Jerelyn Rodriguez, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Knowledge House
  • Hannah Weinstock, Senior Director of Workforce Development, LaGuardia Community College

“We proudly welcome Simon, Lakythia, Abe, Jerelyn, and Hannah to the leadership of NYCETC”, said Jose Ortiz, Jr., Executive Director of NYCETC. “I could not be more excited and honored to have the privilege of working with these five dynamic leaders, who with their invaluable insight and diversity of experience, will continue to strengthen our work to ensure all New Yorkers have access to innovative training and new economy employment opportunities.”

“On behalf of the NYCETC Board of Directors, I am thrilled to welcome Simon Chiew & Chinese-American Planning Council; Lakythia Ferby & STRIVE NY; Abe Mendez & Per Scholas; Jerelyn Rodriguez & The Knowledge House; and Hannah Weinstock & LaGuardia Community College to the Board,” said Jennifer Mitchell, Interim NYCETC Board Chair and Executive Director of The HOPE Program & Sustainable South Bronx. “Collectively, these workforce leaders and their organizations represent diverse and innovative approaches to meeting the needs of New York City jobseekers and local employers. I look forward having each of their voices at the table as we advocate for a strong and inclusive NYC workforce development system.”

“I have been in the education and workforce development field for over 15 years and am proud to be part of a team of passionate leaders that are dedicated to ensuring New Yorkers are able to thrive in this city,” said Simon Chiew, Chief Strategy Officer of the Chinese-American Planning Council.

“I’m proud to be a NYCETC Board member and be part of the critical work of strengthening the voice of workforce development in the city” says Lakythia Ferby, Executive Director of STRIVE New York. “STRIVE is an important part of building pathways to economic opportunity, and I am grateful to represent our students as the Coalition works to ensure that every New Yorker gains the skills needed to earn a meaningful income.”

“I am deeply honored to serve on the board of the New York City Employment and Training Coalition,” said Abe Mendez, Managing Director of Per Scholas New York. “I am a New Yorker who benefited from skills-training that supported overlooked communities to access sustainable careers. I am excited to contribute my expertise and experience to the Coalition to ensure that our city is making informed, demand-driven, and inclusive decisions so that our growing workforce is accessible to all New Yorkers.”

“I am excited to be joining the Board to elevate the voices of the jobseekers and students we serve,” said Jerelyn Rodriguez, Co-Founder and CEO of The Knowledge House. “As a board member of NYCETC, The Knowledge House has increased our capacity to engage in advocacy and policy work on behalf of our constituents. I’m excited for the work ahead.”

“I am thrilled to join the Board of Directors of the New York City Employment and Training Coalition, a coalition of experienced and dedicated workforce development professionals with the potential to significantly expand economic mobility for New Yorkers from every background,” said Hannah Weinstock, Senior Director of Workforce Development at LaGuardia Community College. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to realize this potential and to make our city a place where every resident has the opportunity to thrive.”

“Simon is a strong advocate for immigrant and low-income communities in New York,” said Wayne Ho, President & CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council. “CPC is thrilled to have Simon join the board of NYCETC because of his dedication to workforce development and connecting marginalized and underserved communities to the resources they need to be successful.”

“STRIVE is thrilled that Lakythia will bring her strong leadership voice and deep expertise to the NYCETC board,” said Phil Weinberg, President & CEO of STRIVE. “I’d like to commend Joey Ortiz and the NYCETC Board for building such an exceptional coalition of board leaders and members. NYCETC has become an essential force within the New York City workforce and economic development communities that fosters economic opportunity and mobility for all New Yorkers.”

“I am thrilled to congratulate Abe on his appointment to the NYCETC board,” said Plinio Ayala, President & CEO of Per Scholas. “Abe has been a champion for New Yorkers by driving private-sector investments, rallying public support and building effective training programs that lead to quality careers. As part of this effort, Abe has become a coalition builder and understands that vision and collaboration are our two most powerful tools as changemakers.”

“I joined the board of The Knowledge House (TKH) to ensure all families have access to achieve economic mobility,” said Charizma Williams, Chief Financial Officer at ACLU and Board Chair of TKH. “By joining NYCETC board, TKH can work in partnership with the workforce development field to uplift families out of poverty and allow them to build generational wealth.”

“Hannah Weinstock, who leads continuing education programs that train New Yorkers for jobs in healthcare, technology, construction, and other sectors, is an ideal representative of LaGuardia Community College for NYCETC,” said Paul Arcario, Interim President of LaGuardia Community College. “She’ll be continuing our decades-long commitment to NYCETC as a critical force for advancing the field of workforce development, which every year helps hundreds of thousands of adult learners to build careers that enable them to create better lives for themselves and their families.”


The NYC Employment and Training Coalition supports the workforce and economic development community to ensure that every New Yorker has access to the skills, training and education needed to thrive in the local economy, and that every business is able to maintain a highly skilled workforce. Founded in 1997 as the membership organization for New York City workforce development service providers, NYCETC has emerged as a citywide and national leader in workforce and economic development by advancing policy priorities and convening the sector to build capacity by sharing information and best practices.

Visit www.nycetc.org to learn more about NYCETC.

Annie Garneva
Director, Communications and Member Services