Reflecting on JobsFirstNYC’s Convening on Adapting to the Future of Work

Thank you to the JobsFirstNYC team for contributing this feature on their two-day convening, Adapting to the Future of Work.

Thank you to the JobsFirstNYC team for contributing this feature on their two-day convening, Adapting to the Future of Work. The NYCETC team was excited to attend, and just a few of our favorites were at the very start and end of the day where we heard a reading from New York State Inaugural Poet Laureate, Stephanie Pacheco; and a panel discussion on work expectations and aspirations with entrepreneur, Madison Bryant-Wagstaff; and youth-activist and storyteller, Daphne Frias.

Additionally, JobsFirstNYC covered their new brief with Community Service Society of New York that covers the post-pandemic increase of out of school and out of work youth. You can read the report here.

Editor’s note: This feature 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.

Adapting to the Future of Work: Day One

On Tuesday, July 18th, JobsFirstNYC hosted day one of its annual Adapting to the Future of Work two-day convening at the New York City Bar Association. Day one focused exclusively on young adults between the ages of 16-24 year olds. Since its inception in 2016, the goal of this signature convening has been to discuss various strategies that young adults can utilize to adapt to the rapidly evolving workplace so that they are better prepared for the challenges. Back to its original in-person format since the pandemic, young leaders led robust conversations and shared thought provoking information with the young participants. This year’s Listen Up theme underscored the  sentiment that young people want to be a part of the dialogue about how they navigate a complicated workforce space.

The morning began with a powerful poem from New York State Inaugural Poet Laureate, Stephanie Pacheco, followed by the Lt. Governor of New York, Antonio Delgado who delivered a special message to the young people largely centered around creating their own path and staying true to their own vision. The Deputy Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) Commissioner Denice Williams shared some timeless life lessons from her own experience.

Founder of Project I Am, and two-time bestselling author Jahkil Jackson delivered an motivating and interactive keynote address, during which he shared that he started his first  nonprofit at the age of eight years old and has since been acknowledged as one of three influential people of 2017 by President Barack Obama and the Obama Foundation and a CNN Hero Young Wonder.

The convening also hosted panels on Advocacy, Social Entrepreneurship, Mental Wellness, Tech Diversity and Inclusion as well as Preparing for Emerging Industries and Workforce Trends. Later in the afternoon, participants had an opportunity to engage in more interactive Picnic Table talks with over 25 young speakers and activists.

Adapting to the Future of Work: Day Two

On Thursday, July 20th, Adapting to the Future of Work for Professionals convening took place at The Harmonie Club. The over 200 attendees heard from workforce development professionals, educators and philanthropists. Co-Founder and Co-Director, Santa Fe Indian School Leadership Institute, Regis Pecos, shared compelling practices about belonging, meaning, well-being, and purpose. JobsFirstNYC also unveiled its sobering new data brief Reversing Nearly A Decade of Positive Trends: The Lingering Impact of the Pandemic on the Out-of-School, Out-of-Work Young Adults in New York City

Guttman College President, Dr. Larry Johnson moderated the Delivering on Belonging, Meaning, Wellbeing and Purpose in Education and Skills panel featuring OneTen’s Jada Smith, Deloitte’s Nwaka Isamah, Nontraditional Employment for Women’s Linda Young, The HOPE Program’s Ana Chapman, Stacks + Joules’ Francisca Peral, and Aspen Institute’s Mike Swigert.

The SkillsTech: Empowering the Workforce of Tomorrow panel was future-focused. The expert panel was by led by JobsFirstNYC Board Member Leah Truitt, and had input from Achieve Partners Cassidy Leventhal, SkyHive’s Alison Lands, and Transfr’s Bharani Rajakumar. They highlighted the impact of new technologies and how they are revolutionizing the workforce development landscape.

For the first time ever, the day ended with a panel comprised solely of two young adults, entrepreneur and founder of MFC, Madison Bryant-Wagstaff; and youth activist & storyteller, Daphne Frias. The discussion allowed the speakers to make their hopes and needs known to the crowd of professionals, and their passion and agency was well received across the board. The representation of a young adult voice during a professional convening setting was many attendees’ favorite part of the day.