FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG, DEPUTY MAYOR GIBBS AND SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES COMMISSIONER WALSH ANNOUNCE $4.2 MILLION IN FUNDING TO REDUCE POVERTY BY HELPING SMALL BUSINESSES STRENGTHEN THEIR WORKFORCES
Innovative Program Will Provide Funding Directly to Businesses That Commit to Job Creation, Promotion and Training
Mayor Bloomberg today announced that the Department of Small Business Services will award more than $4.2 million in NYC Business Solutions Training Funds to employers that have developed training programs to increase the skills and salaries of the working poor. Currently, $1 million is available that small businesses can apply for before October 15. This level of funding - in part provided by the Mayor's Innovation Fund, administered by the Center for Economic Opportunity – breaks with traditional workforce development strategies by giving companies the flexibility to tailor their job-training programs around their individual needs. The balance of the $4.2 million will be distributed in the months ahead. Joining the Mayor at Hendrickson Custom Cabinetry, a Training Funds recipient in the South Bronx, were Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda Gibbs, Small Business Services Commissioner Robert Walsh, Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO ) Executive Director Veronica White, and Felix and Lisa Hendrickson, co-owners of Hendrickson Custom Cabinetry.
“If we are going to tackle poverty in New York, we have to try innovative alternatives to the same old strategies we’ve been using for decades,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Businesses are providing the jobs and training which can help lift New Yorkers out of poverty. We should spend our money helping those that have committed to job creation and promotion to train their entry level workers, instead of simply training New Yorkers with the hopes that jobs that match those skills will be available.”
Consistent with the Center for Economic Opportunity’s priority of identifying, developing, and funding new strategies to reduce poverty in New York City, these funds will help to create career pathways for entry level employees by giving them additional training so they can earn promotions and higher wages. At the same time, the funds will serve as a tool for businesses, helping them grow in New York City and aiding in the development of a qualified workforce trained to meet their needs.
“NYC Business Solutions Training Funds are helping businesses grow, compete and stay in New York by strengthening our quality workforce,” said Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh. “Since 2005, NYC Business Solutions has provided funding to train more than 2,100 New Yorkers – the vast majority of whom have received or will receive substantial wage increases upon completion of training.”
Today, five training funds recipients were awarded over $700,000 to train more than 300 employees in growing industries across New York City. An additional $1 million is available to companies that apply by October 15. The five companies are:
“Manufacturing is costly and difficult,” said Lisa Hendrickson, co-owner of Hendrickson Custom Cabinetry. “We constantly have to train our team members to continuously improve the quality of our work and keep us competitive in this global marketplace. This training award will allow us to grow our company and increase our market share in New York City while creating jobs and building long-term career skills for New Yorkers in our community.”
In addition to today’s awards, an additional $1 million in funding is now available for employers in the healthcare, retail, financial services, manufacturing, food services/ accommodation, information/ professional services and transportation fields. Like today’s awardees, recipients will be selected based upon their ability to provide entry-level and incumbent workers with career advancement opportunities and increased wages. Pre-applications for funding must be submitted by October 15. Businesses can call 3-1-1 and ask for “Training Funds” or visit www.nyc.gov for more information.
The CEO funding allows businesses to tailor its job training around its own needs, and include education in reading and math, English as a Second Language, and job preparedness. These types of training have not previously been funded by City, State or Federal governments. The CEO funds will be combined with those from the Workforce Investment Act to comprise the total $4.2 million in fiscal year 2008 awards.
Center for Economic Opportunity
The Center for Economic Opportunity was established by Mayor Bloomberg to implement innovative ways to reduce poverty in New York City, and works with City agencies to design and implement evidence-based initiatives aimed at poverty reduction. The CEO manages an Innovation Fund through which it provides City agencies annual funding to implement such initiatives and will oversee a rigorous evaluation of each to determine which are successful in demonstrating results towards reducing poverty and increasing self-sufficiency among New Yorkers.
John Gallagher/Dawn Walker (212) 788-2958
Kara Alaimo (Department of Small Business Services)
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