Editor’s note: This response was originally included in NYCETC’s NYC Workforce Weekly newsletter, which is delivered free to subscribers’ inboxes every Wednesday with trends and top stories about workforce development in New York City. Subscribe here.
We are heartened by the New York City Council’s commitment to the nonprofit workforce development providers who are relied on to connect residents in every neighborhood with access to jobs; and the services and training necessary for securing a living wage. We know that the need for employment access, retention, and advancement supports has only increased since the onset of COVID-19 because while our current City jobs numbers might be within striking distance of pre-pandemic levels— the city’s most vulnerable workers are falling even farther behind.
Because we cannot afford to make cuts in the infrastructure that put New Yorkers on pathways to quality jobs, we applaud the City Council for its efforts to DOUBLE DOWN on Training and Apprenticeship Programs that serve to help job seekers build skills while offering access to essentials that sustain families like stipends and child care and INVEST IN NEW INITIATIVES focused on equity and inclusivity including Support for MWBE’s and Entrepreneurs and Workforce Development Programming for Immigrants.
The Council’s desire to restore Funding for MetroCards for Summer Youth Employment Participants at the same time that it seeks to Expand Work, Learn, and Grow and Career and Technical Education represents a clarity of thinking about how we, as a City, can meet the most urgent, daily needs of our young workforce seeking a foot in the door to opportunity and growth while we develop their ladders to long-term employment stability and career success.
However, to ensure that we are not squandering our investments in workforce development, we must also build oversight mechanisms that track the administration’s progress towards the most vital employment metrics. NYCETC is calling for citywide key performance indicators (KPIs) for these programs—and a sub-committee for convening and oversight (Sub-committee on Labor Market Access and Equity) to ensure that these KPIs are met. Additionally, the public deserves consistent reports on the value and impact of the intersections of workforce development and economic development in every neighborhood.