NYCETC Announces Formation of Business Advisory Board

New York, NY (September 15, 2020) – Today, the New York City Employment and Training Coalition (NYCETC) announced the formation of the NYC Workforce Business Council, NYCETC’s business advisory council. Thanks to an investment from JPMorgan Chase, the Council will serve the critical function of ensuring NYC’s workforce development sector is industry informed.

Chaired by David Garza, President and CEO of Henry Street Settlement and long-time NYCETC Board Member, members of the NYC Workforce Business Council share their talent and skill in support of NYCETC’s mission by providing NYCETC staff, board, members and partners with their professional expertise; their knowledge of stakeholder perspectives; their connection to local, state, and national resources to support a citywide workforce agenda.

“At JPMorgan Chase we are committed to supporting an inclusive economic recovery for NYC. Bringing business leaders together with the city’s workforce providers will be imperative to forging a path forward for New York City’s economy. NYC Employment and Training Coalition is the right organization to lead these important conversations.” — Abby Marquand, Program Officer, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

“The formation of the NYC Workforce Business Council will allow us to better understand talent needs across industries, educate our members on providing effective training, and develop deep relationships between the city’s business and workforce development communities that are critical to the long-term development of equitable and inclusive pipelines drawn from diverse talent across the five boroughs. I’m grateful to the advisors for their support and I look forward to our partnership.”— Jose Ortiz, Jr., Executive Director, New York City Employment and Training Coalition

Inaugural members of the Council include:

Linda Baran, President and CEO, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce
Laura Colacurcio, Vice President, Association for a Better New York
Tavonia Davis, Regional Director for Government Affairs and Public Policy, Verizon
Thomas Grech, President and CEO, Queens Chamber of Commerce
Matthew Harrigan, Co-Founder, Company; Partner, CEO, Company Ventures
Jake Hirsch-Allen, North America Workforce Development and Higher Education System Lead, LinkedIn
Debbie Kenyon, Vice Chairman & Senior Partner, L&M Development Partners
Jenna LaPietra, New York Metro Local Market Development Lead, Accenture
Elizabeth Lusskin, President, Long Island City Partnership
Sabina Mehmood, Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, Bloomberg LP
Randy Peers, President and CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
Angela Pinsky, Senior Government Affairs Manager of New York and New Jersey, Google
Merrill Pond, Executive Vice President, Partnership for NYC
Andrew Rasiej, Founder and CEO, Civic Hall
Andrew Rigie, Executive Director, New York City Hospitality Alliance
Julie Samuels, Executive Director, Tech:NYC
Kate Slevin, Senior Vice President of State Programs and Advocacy, Regional Plan Association
Lisa Sorin, President, Bronx Chamber of Commerce
Dr. Edward Summers, Founder and CEO, The Thinkubator
Jessica Walker, President and CEO, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce
Eric Westphal, Senior Director of Global Corporate Affairs, Cognizant
Kate Wittels, Partner, HR&A Advisors

“The launch of the New York City Employment and Training Coalition’s NYC Workforce Business Council will amplify the critical work necessary to implement an inclusive economic recovery that is accessible to all New Yorkers and ensures the workers building back New York reflect the diversity of our city. As Board Chair of this premier organization, I look forward to working with such a skilled, diverse, and thoughtful Council to create opportunities and advance inclusive and skills-based workforce development initiatives across New York City during COVID-19 and beyond.” — Kathleen Culhane, President, Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW)

“The future of New York City and the goal we all share for an equitable, inclusive, and successful recovery are directly contingent upon the effectiveness of our system of workforce development. With the formation of the NYC Workforce Business Council, the New York City Employment and Training Coalition shows its leadership and commitment to the City by meaningfully activating a range of stakeholders that make up our workforce ecosystem. It is imperative that business, labor, education, government and community-based providers work together to create a sustainable framework that will benefit both the businesses and the diverse and talented workers across our city, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized. The Council is an important step in that direction and I am honored to serve as its chair.” — David Garza, President and Chief Executive Officer, Henry Street Settlement

“COVID-19 has made workforce development more important than ever in New York, which is why NYCETC has put so much time and energy into creating the NYC Workforce Business Council. The Council will do much more than convene business leaders or share ideas with NYCETC. It will foster collaboration, communication, and expertise throughout our local economy, and create an environment where workers and companies alike can both survive these times but also ultimately thrive.” — Julie Samuels, Executive Director, Tech:NYC

“New York City has been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic and NYCETC is playing a vital role in bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders to plan and advocate for an equitable recovery for our city’s small businesses and workers.” — Andrew Rigie, Executive Director, NYC Hospitality Alliance

“Even before COVID-19, we were working together to better integrate all parts of the business community and workforce training capacity of NYC to help create a more sustainable and inclusive economy. But in the wake of this still evolving crisis, the need to do so is ever more urgent. NYCETC is a fantastic convener and effective leader, and we look forward to seeing real impact from this effort.” — Elizabeth Lusskin, President, Long Island City Partnership

“To build a more sustainable and inclusive economy, and a more positive future for New Yorkers, the private and public sectors must collaborate much more closely in NYC, weaving training and career development for disadvantaged communities and inclusive hiring into the city’s fabric. In particular, I am excited to support NYCETC’s capacity building and advocacy functions, to ensure NYC’s workforce development community is as productive as possible and that its voice is heard.” — Jake Hirsch-Allen, North America Workforce Development and Higher Educational System Lead, LinkedIn

“As the unfortunate holder of the epicenter of the epicenter designation, Queens County needs innovative thinking and we look forward to partnering with the New York City Employment & Training Coalition to get the City of New York back on track.” — Thomas J. Grech, President & Chief Executive Officer, Queens Chamber of Commerce


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 played a vital role in the workforce community by advancing policy priorities and convening the sector to build capacity by sharing information and best practices.

Visit to learn more about NYCETC.

Annie Garneva
Director, Communications and Member Services