The New York City Housing Authority and
Robin Hood have announced a joint partnership and the imminent launch of an
innovative training academy to develop skills and expertise for public housing
residents for jobs with NYCHA and its contractors. This initiative is the
largest of its kind in a U.S. city.
The partnership is creating a NYCHA Training Academy
that initially will train up to 150 NYCHA residents and will ultimately place
qualified graduates in jobs as either Caretakers with the Authority, or in
constructions jobs with NYCHA contractors. This one-year pilot project is
expected to launch in the Fall 2010.
"Robin Hood and the New York City Housing Authority have
created this public-private partnership to help residents acquire the necessary
skills to succeed in the workplace, to get good jobs and build careers that will
serve as a model moving forward," said NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea. "With
assistance from Robin Hood, we can now train people for jobs that match our
workforce needs. Through this public-private partnership, NYCHA is able to
maximize economic opportunity and career advancement for residents in its public
In the pilot launch of the project, Robin Hood will
provide $750,000 in funding for three training organizations to provide training
in janitorial and general construction work. Residents will be trained to begin
their careers in Caretaker and light construction positions at NYCHA and with
NYCHA contractors. NYCHA's Office of Resident Employment Services will conduct
outreach, recruitment, provide preliminary assessment and then assist with job
placement either at NYCHA or its contractors.
"This effort is part of Robin Hood's broader effort to
reduce poverty and boost the earnings of low-income New Yorkers," said David
Saltzman, Executive Director of the Robin Hood. "We are excited about funding
this pilot, and if it is successful, we will entertain funding that will train
up to 1,000 residents."
The not-for-profit service organizations that will
conduct the training are Brooklyn Workforce Innovation (BWI), the Building Works
program of the District Council of Carpenters; and Non Traditional Employment
for Women (NEW). These organizations, which excel at preparing low-income
individuals for permanent jobs, will use their own facilities to conduct
screening and training for selected candidates. Based on the program's success,
the Robin Hood Foundation will consider additional funding that will train up to
1,000 residents for additional jobs, adding other provider partners and
employment sectors, such as extermination services.
With the additional training and support, residents not
only will be better qualified and prepared to compete for jobs but, more
importantly, they will be able to keep those jobs and have opportunities for
Adds Chairman Rhea: "This Training Academy is important
for New York City and represents a vision of ways in which public-private
partnership can be used productively in the area of workforce development to
enhance the lives of public housing residents. Of all the philanthropic
organizations involved in fighting poverty with the commitment and resources to
expand this training program citywide, Robin Hood is at the forefront."
The NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) also
has committed to providing resources and technical support for the Training
"This Training Academy will be an important offering for
NYCHA residents where they can gain real skills for real jobs with long term
career prospects," said Department of Small Business Services Commissioner
Robert W. Walsh. "We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure this
innovative training program is a success."
Recruitment for the Training Academy will begin later
this summer. Interested residents can take advantage of other Resident
Employment Services' opportunities. The phone number for NYCHA Resident
Employment Services is 718-289-8100.