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Re-Envisioning a Stronger, More Effective Workforce System

The NYC Workforce Funders connect employers to job seekers through grantmaking and public sector partnerships, and implement change with policy work as well.

In 2012 the Workforce Funders commissioned the Re-Envisioning the New York City Workforce System Report, which outlines a vision for a redesigned workforce system driven by the needs of employers. This report, released in 2013, has provided a framework for the City administration to develop a bold new model for workforce development—one that places a high priority on training and job placement.

The Workforce Funders will continue to work closely with the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development and key agencies involved in workforce development to implement recommendations for a more effective workforce system.

Building Job Skills for the 21st Century Economy

After years of slow growth, New York City’s economy is expanding at a rapid pace. The City created approximately 425,000 jobs during the last five years, more than during any other five-year period in the last half-century. This growth is in many different businesses, with technology and health care leading the way. In the midst of this boom many employers face a shortage of skilled workers. Yet, 300,000 New Yorkers remain unemployed, and nearly a million others struggle on less than $20,000 a year, as they lack the skills for higher-level jobs.

The New York City Workforce Funders, a network of 60 foundations and corporate philanthropies that meets quarterly and distributes funding through The New York Community Trust, is working to bridge this gap. Partnering with government and community organizations, labor unions, and job trainers, the Workforce Funders aim to improve employment opportunities for job seekers. The goal is to make the city’s workforce development system more responsive to the needs of workers and employers.

The job market has seen some dramatic shifts in the past several years. Some industries have disappeared while others are expanding and need skilled workers. Many of the City’s new jobs are in lower-paying businesses like hotels, restaurants, and shops. But big, fast-growing Internet companies are also adding jobs—think Facebook and Google, both hiring skilled workers at a rapid pace. Health care remains another strong area of growth. More than 20,000 health care jobs were created in New York in the last few years. Jobs in these sectors remain out of reach for many New Yorkers who lack access to training.

Several exciting workforce initiatives are preparing job-seekers for new careers. Among them are: 

  • New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare (NYACH). NYACH works with employers, educators, and city government to learn where the skill gaps are, assess employers’ needs, and develop appropriate training programs for jobs in health care.
  • NYC Tech Talent Pipeline. This industry partnership is designed to deliver quality jobs for New Yorkers and quality talent for New York’s technology businesses.    
  • Per Scholas: Project Scale. Students learn technical skills in preparation for a career in the fast-growing tech sector and can also take advantage of job placement services.
Effective workforce strategies benefit both workers and employers. Learn how the Fund’s unique programs put people to work and change lives.

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The New York Community Trust is a 501(c)3 public charity.