Among the approximately $107 billion in spending in the FY24 budget, there are some funding commitments that add capacity to current workforce development programs and advance the system-building agenda articulated in the just-released Pathways to an Inclusive Economy: Future of Workers Task Force Blueprint. The additions are strongly oriented toward serving students and young adults, continuing the trend begun early in the Mayor’s term when the City pledged to expand the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) to serve 100,000 young New Yorkers and set in motion a number of career readiness programs within the K-12 system. There are restorations to some proposed cuts and significant reductions in this budget too. While the analysis continues, here are some takeaways:
[Restoration to Proposed Cut] Providing free MetroCards for 2023 SYEP participants: $11 million. For the second straight year, the City will cover transit costs for youth and young adults enrolled in SYEP—a key input into youth maximizing their hours in the program and getting the most out of their summer experience.
[Funding] for more 5,000 slots for Work, Learn & Grow: $22.5 million. A highly regarded program administered by the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) in partnership with NYC Public Schools and CUNY, WLG provides a paid year-round work experience to SYEP participants.This new investment will more than double WLG’s previous capacity.
[Funding] for 400 program slots to serve out of school/out of work (OSOW) young adults: $6.6 million. In recent years, DYCD has refined its services to help OSOW young adults reconnect to school and work through the Advance and Earn program. This expansion will boost total capacity to 1,739 program slots per year.
[Partial Restoration] While funds for some City University of New York (CUNY) Programs were restored: $32.4 million (Includes funding for Accelerate, Complete, and Engage (ACE): $9.1 million; Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP): $5 million; CUNY Reconnect: $5.8 million; Academic Advisors: $5.9 million), there are overall budget reductions to CUNY.
[Partial Restoration] $23.3 million for adult literacy education funded through DYCD, including the renewal of the $4M City Council Adult Literacy Initiative and the $2.5M City Council Pilot Project. While $23.3 million represents an 11% cut in funding compared to last year, it is still a higher amount of adult literacy funding through DYCD than in any year prior to last year. This was excerpted from NYCCAL‘s FY24 budget summary, and for further questions, please contact Ira Yankwitt, Literacy Assistance Center, firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Restoration] Funds for the Three Library Systems: $36.2 million. From the New York Times, ‘As New York Weighs Library Cuts, Three New Branches Show Their Value,’ 3/10/23- “New Yorkers rely on library branches not just for books, but also for access to computers and free broadband, employment services, English-language courses for immigrants, after-school programs for teens, de facto child care, havens during extreme weather, free events and safe spaces for latchkey children, the unhoused and older adults.”
[Funding] for the workforce system: $2.7 million. As described in the budget announcement, the City will “[help to] connect New Yorkers to apprenticeships, improve the city’s workforce system, and establish a new community hiring program as authorized by recently passed state legislation.” While specifics are to be determined, these commitments align to a number of the “strategic levers” identified in the Blueprint. The Mayor embraced apprenticeship in his State of the City address last winter, pledging to support 30,000 apprentices citywide by 2030. The more language around system improvement could refer to investments in the robust data and employer engagement initiatives, while the reference to community hiring brings closer the fulfillment of a longtime goal among workforce advocates to leverage the City’s vast purchasing power to create employment opportunities for residents of traditionally underserved communities.
On June 30, NYCETC joined several coalitions to respond to the absence of a COLA for human services workers in the FY24 budget. “This is not a COLA and this falls short of the $200M that thousands of human services workers demanded this year…” Read the full statement here.
[Not restored] The $17M cut to re-entry programs at Rikers Island impacts 1,500 individuals daily and nearly 100 staff who are part of the 6 nonprofit service providers offering critical support including “conflict resolution, discharge planning, employment readiness, cognitive behavioral therapy and other critical re-entry-focused programs…”
On City Council Expense Budget Initiatives
Specific to the New York City Council Adopted Expense Budget (FY24), there is an additional investment of approximately $1M in the Small Business Services and Workforce Development Initiatives from $25,987,063 (FY23) to $26,961,475 (FY24).
- This increase includes a slight increase to Job Training and Placement Initiative from $8,250,000 (FY23) to $8,450,000 (FY24) and the addition of three new initiatives.
- [New] Domestic Worker and Employer Empowerment – $300,000 “to support education about domestic workers’ rights for both workers and employers, and support for the investigation of workers’ rights abuses”
- [New] Pride at Work – $501,000 “to get for LGBTQIA+ individuals into unionized jobs”
- [New] Support for Immigrant and Women Workers – $600,000 “to support programs that serve low-wage immigrant women workers”
- Funding for the Bridge Program for Workforce Development was significantly reduced.