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February 2015 | Grants Newsletter

Wanted: Tech Workers

The Trust Helps Meet Employer Needs

JOINING THE WORKFORCE: Abigail West found a job soon after graduating from Year Up’s program. Read her story below. Photo by Ari Mintz/The Trust

TEACHING TEACHERS: A teacher receives coaching from Workforce Professionals Training Institute staff.


More Grants to Strengthen our Workforce

The Trust’s $100,000 to New York City Employment and Training Coalition helps workforce development groups as they involve employers in everything from designing and running courses to mentoring job-seekers. And Trial Opportunity Partnership will use $75,000 to improve transitional jobs for hard-to-employ job-seekers. Meanwhile, $80,000 will help Workforce Professionals Training Institute offer courses in employment strategies for different sectors, serving job-seekers with disabilities, and using data to identify jobs in emerging industries.

Anyone who knows New York’s growing technology sector sees a paradox: Well-paying jobs abound, yet tech employers struggle to find workers.

The Trust is changing that. With $150,000 to the Workforce Development Corporation, we’re underwriting the Tech Talent Pipeline, a new project to expand tech careers for disadvantaged workers. The project will bring together employers to identify jobs that will emerge over the next five years, then specify the training needed, such as managing a network and testing software.

The Pipeline will assess requirements for each position and train and place candidates. Some training can be done in months rather than years: nearly half the City’s 28,000 tech jobs don’t require a college degree.

There’s more: City University of New York is using our $265,000 grant for its Information Technology Specialists Internship Program, placing students with Silicon Alley employers. And Year Up will use our $130,000 to add more young women to its information technology (IT) training and apprenticeship program. (See Abigail West’s story, below.)

At the Tech Talent Pipeline, employers’ needs shape the job-training curriculum. This is modeled on the New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare, a successful program started by The Trust. For more on this program, see our 2013 Annual Report.

MY YEAR UP | Abigail West

In high school, I saw a poster that changed my life. It was for Year Up, a nonprofit that gives intensive training and apprenticeships to young people who have lots of motivation, but not a lot of money or contacts.
I got in. As I learned about IT, I was placed at Citigroup, where I helped employees with email, solved printer problems, and made their online work more efficient. I learned some “soft” skills, too, like how to deal with people skeptical of a woman in IT.

After graduating from Year Up, I got a job at CompuCom, a contractor that placed me at the New York offices of a major international bank. Six months later, I was promoted. Just five years ago, I moved from Saint Martin, in the Caribbean, to Queens to be closer to relatives. It’s been a whirlwind. Now I’m working full-time while earning my bachelor’s.

I like to stop by Year Up’s offices and cheer on the new class. My message to teens who are scared about the economy: Jobs are out there, so start training. Our generation is going to make the world better.
Abigail West, 22, lives in Queens.


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