FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES NEW YORK CITY ACHIEVED RECORD JOB PLACEMENTS THROUGH FIRST QUARTER OF 2009
Expanded Workforce1 Career Center Services Part of New York City's Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber and Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh today announced that nearly 5,000 New Yorkers were placed in jobs through NYC Workforce1 Career Centers during the first quarter of 2009 - a 23 percent increase compared to the first quarter of 2008. Due to longer hours of operation on nights and weekends and expanded training services at the Workforce1 Career Centers in all five boroughs, the City is on track to achieve the annual placement goal of 20,000 jobs in 2009 that Mayor Bloomberg set forth in the 2009 State of the City speech. The increase in services to train New Yorkers seeking employment and help them get permanent jobs is part of the City's Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan to create jobs for New Yorkers today, implement a vision for long-term economic growth, and build affordable, attractive neighborhoods. Mayor Bloomberg was joined at the announcement by Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and Bronx resident Melissa Perez, who was recently hired through the City's Workforce1 program as Assistant Manager at Jimmy Jazz, a retail clothing store in the Baychester section of the Bronx.
"Some might expect a recession to reduce job placements, but we're determined not to let that happen," said Mayor Bloomberg. "That's why we increased our job placement goal this year to 20,000 jobs. By expanding the hours at Workforce 1 Career Centers, focusing on growing industries and investing more time and money in training, we're on track to meet that goal. In just a few short years, we've taken the Workforce 1 Career Centers from placing just 125 people in jobs per quarter to placing 5,000."
Despite the economic downturn, NYC Workforce1 Career Center specialists have been placing even more New Yorkers in jobs due largely as the result of the expansion of free job placement services at the centers. In December, Mayor Bloomberg announced the City was adding evening hours three nights per week and Saturday hours every other week. Thus far in 2009, 5,798 people have been placed in retail, healthcare, technology, transportation, food services and other fields. Of those, 1,424 job placements were made in the Bronx; 1,179 placements were made in Brooklyn; 856 placements were made in Manhattan; 1,799 placements were made in Queens; and 540 placements were made in Staten Island.
In addition, Workforce1 Career Centers' staff focuses on getting individuals into jobs in industries that have potential for growth. In February, SBS worked with the NYC Labor Market Information Services, NYC Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and the Center for Urban Research at The Graduate Center of the CUNY on a report, Gauging Employment Prospects for Employment in New York City, 2009, which examines the largest employment industries according to five different criteria relevant to placing workers. The report identified the most promising job growth industries - including health care services, universities, medical offices and grocery stores.
"Last year we placed more New Yorkers in jobs than ever before, but because our training and placements services are even more critical this year we set out to do even better," said Deputy Mayor Lieber. "In these times, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to help New Yorkers get jobs and keep them, and our training and placement services have proven to be an increasingly effective tool to doing that."
"In this economic climate, we are looking to help businesses in any way that we can," said Commissioner Walsh. "We'll work with businesses large or small, whether they need one employee or 100. This milestone of making more than 5,000 job placements since January demonstrates that our approach is the right one. Because good news travels fast, more and more businesses are turning to the City for their business needs."
In February, after more than eight months searching for employment, Melissa Perez was referred to the Hunts Point Workforce1 Career Center. NYC Business Solutions hosted a Jimmy Jazz onsite recruitment session for sales associates, and she was hired as Assistant Manager at nearly double her previous salary. In her new role, she also serves as hiring manager and is working with NYC Business Solutions to identify and fill new job openings. Jimmy Jazz has hired 12 people through the Workforce1 Career Center, including four at the Baychester, Bronx location and eight more for its Long Island, Queens and other city stores.
"After searching nearly 10 months for a job after being laid off, I am so grateful that I was able to find a job with the help of the Workforce1 Career Center," said Melissa Perez. "My new job has made me feel energetic and very encouraged about my future."
NYC's Workforce1 Career Centers reach New Yorkers across the City's five boroughs. New Yorkers can find and prepare for employment with free services including job search resource rooms; personalized career counseling; advice on how to interview for a job; assistance creating resumes and cover letters; job placement services; help preparing for a job; career workshops; and GED and ESL classes. In 2008, New York City's eight Career Centers served more than 100,000 customers, providing pre-vocational skills training, on-site employer recruitments and job referral services in a professional setting. A record 17,238 were placed in jobs through the Workforce1 Career Centers in 2008.
New York City Workforce1 Career Centers (call 311 or centers for more information):
Queens - LaGuardia Community
Stu Loeser / Andrew Brent (212) 788-2958
Laura Postiglione (Small Business Services)
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