FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 23, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES EXPANSION OF ACCESS NYC TO INCLUDE SCREENING AND ELIGIBLITY INFORMATION FOR WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
ACCESS NYC Provides Information on Work Supports, Workforce Development and Services to Help Families Achieve Self-Sufficiency
Mayor Bloomberg today announced that ACCESS NYC, an online program that identifies and screens eligibility for 35 City, State, and Federal human service benefit programs, has added seven new programs to its offerings, including five workforce development programs. Launched last year to provide New Yorkers with free, anonymous, online information about benefit eligibility, ACCESS NYC helps working families learn about government programs, services, and tax credits that may be available to them. The Mayor also announced that the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) is funding an outreach team to provide training in how to use the ACCESS NYC tool.
"The addition of workforce development programs to ACCESS NYC will make it faster and easier for individuals to enter programs that will help them obtain the training and skills that will lead to good jobs and self-sufficiency," said Mayor Bloomberg.
"Improving the accessibility of government services is a major goal of the Bloomberg Administration," said Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs. "ACCESS NYC provides a critical service and by adding these new programs, individuals and families can learn more about the additional benefits for which they can qualify."
The programs added to the existing ACCESS NYC web site, available at www.nyc.gov, and for which individuals can screen themselves for potential eligibility include:
"Last fall, Mayor Bloomberg launched ACCESS NYC as a transformative way of helping New Yorkers help themselves," said Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Paul Cosgrave. "Twelve months and more than 130,000 visits later, ACCESS NYC continues to deliver on that promise. By providing a common point of access for nearly three-dozen programs with just a click of the mouse, customer service on NYC.gov has never been as effective - or meaningful."
Along with learning about benefits eligibility, City residents can print partially - complete application forms, search for office locations, obtain lists of the documents necessary for program enrollment, and create an account to access their information at a later time. ACCESS NYC is available in seven languages including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Haitian Creole, Russian, Arabic, and English. In its first year of operation, ACCESS NYC has received 131,500 hits and more than 23,000 applications have been downloaded from the Web site.
ACCESS NYC has been recognized by the Center for Economic Opportunity as a critical tool for helping New Yorkers move out of poverty and achieve self-sufficiency. The CEO has provided funding for a team of five training and outreach specialists, who provide hands-on, computer-based training and technical assistance to community based organizations, City agencies, and for-profit organizations. The training and outreach team is working to expand awareness of ACCESS NYC by partnering with these organizations to assist clients in using this program to learn about benefits that they are potentially eligible for.
Center for Economic Opportunity
The Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) was established by the Mayor to implement innovative ways to reduce poverty in New York City. The CEO 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 its initiatives, and it will oversee a rigorous evaluation of each initiative to determine which are successful in demonstrating results towards reducing poverty and increasing self-sufficiency among New Yorkers.
Stu Loeser/Dawn Walker (212) 788-2958
Nicholas Sbordone (Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications)