FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND LABOR SECRETARY SOLIS ANNOUNCE NEW YORK CITY WILL USE STIMULUS FUNDS TO TRAIN 10,000 NEW YORKERS FOR JOBS
City Will Use Nearly $32 Million in Federal Funding To Expand or Add Job Training Programs in All Five Boroughs
Providing Job Training for New Yorkers and Helping Place them in Jobs is Part of City's Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and US Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced New York City will use nearly $32 million of federal stimulus funding received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to provide additional job training and placement services for 10,000 New Yorkers over the next two years. The funding will be directed to new and existing programs offered through New York City’s Workforce1 Career Centers in all five boroughs. Providing job training for New Yorkers and helping place them in jobs is a central 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 and Secretary Solis toured the City’s Queens Workforce1 Career Center on Jamaica Avenue before the announcement. They were joined by Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith, Council Members Leroy Comrie, David Weprin and Thomas White, Jr., New York City Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh, New York State Labor Department Commissioner M. Patricia Smith and New York City Workforce Investment Board Chairman Stuart Saft.
“Six years ago, we reorganized our job preparation and placement services, combining them to connect the New Yorkers that need jobs with the businesses that need employees and placing a new emphasis on practical job training,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Last year, that helped us provide job training to more New Yorkers and place more of them in jobs than ever before. We committed to doing even more training and placements this year, and now we’ll use these stimulus dollars to expand our reach even further. I want to thank Secretary Solis and the Obama Administration, New York City’s Congressional delegation, and our many public and private partners for joining with us to do everything we can to keep New York City working.”
“During these tough economic times, investing in our workers is job one,” said Secretary Solis. “I’m pleased that New York City will be using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to assist more than 10,000 residents find jobs and receive training. The $31.7 million dollars we are announcing today represents an unprecedented investment in the people and the future of New York City. As Secretary of Labor, I know that these funds will give workers the training and services they need to obtain employment in high-demand industries.”
The programs receiving funding include job training and placement in a wide variety of fields through programs administered by the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) at the City’s Workforce1 Career Centers; new or expanded programs in specialized fields administered by other City agencies; and services provided by independent organizations in partnership with the City. New Yorkers can learn about these services by visiting any of the City’s Workforce1 Career Centers or by calling 311.
$13.3 million for job preparation and placement services for high-needs adults: Starting this summer, the City will contract with various nonprofit organizations to provide job preparation and placement services to 2,000 dislocated workers and adults with low basic skills, limited English proficiency, criminal records, a disability, or cultural barriers.
$6.6 million for new Individual Training Grants: Through the Individual Training Grant Program offered at the City’s seven Workforce1 Career Centers and Workforce1 NYC Transportation Center, New Yorkers receive vouchers to pay for job training for careers in a wide variety of fields. With ARRA funding, the City will increase the number of training grants issued over the coming year from 5,600 to 8,000, a more than 40 percent increase. It will also allow jobseekers to receive grants at New York State Department of Labor sites in Lower Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn and Flushing, where they were previously unavailable.
$4.3 million for highly specialized training: With ARRA funding, SBS and the City University of New York (CUNY) will offer training courses in fields requiring highly specialized and more expensive training. Today, the City is providing services to 44 New Yorkers through a Licensed Practical Nursing pilot program at LaGuardia Community College. With ARRA funding, SBS and CUNY will mirror that type of program and offer training to 400 New Yorkers in the healthcare and accounting fields, among others.
$2.7 million to expand the Career Advancement Program: Through the Career Advancement Program – a joint initiative of SBS and the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) – participants receive intensive year-long services designed to help low-wage workers increase their income or attain new careers. Only currently available in four of the City’s seven Workforce1 Career Centers, ARRA funding will allow the City to provide the program at all the Centers by winter 2009.
$1.9 million for the Department of Education’s Career and Technical Education Program: With ARRA funding, 220 New Yorkers will receive training for jobs in nursing, Internet and computing core certification, and automotive and culinary services through the program administered by the Department of Education.
$1.8 million for a New Workforce1 Sector Center: In June 2008, SBS and CEO launched its first sector-based center, the Workforce1 NYC Transportation Center, which provides training and placement services in the transportation industry. The City will use ARRA funding to create a new sector center this summer.
$714,000 for a new FDNY Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Trainee Program: With Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) vacancies that it needs to fill to meet staffing quotas, the New York City Fire Department and SBS will use ARRA funding to launch an EMS Trainee program. A class of roughly 90 people will become provisional Fire Department employees and participate in a rigorous 12-week training program, ending with a full-time job as FDNY EMTs. The program will begin in September 2009.
$343,000 for electrician training through the Parks Opportunity Program: Within its Parks Opportunity Program, the Parks Department will create POP “Spark,” a one-year program targeting highly motivated, unemployed New Yorkers interested in pursuing a career in the electrical field. The training requires 600 hours of coursework, including basic and advanced electrical training.
$75,000 for art handlers training and placement program: SBS and the Department of Cultural Affairs will provide training to 15 unemployed and working artists for employment as art handlers in museums, galleries, corporations and auction houses throughout the metropolitan area. The program will begin in July 2009.
“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 means training to help New Yorkers be ready for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Governor David A. Paterson. “I would like to thank President Obama and Secretary Solis for their commitment to helping workers who are struggling under the weight of unprecedented economic circumstances. They can be assured that we at the state level are doing everything we can to bring our state and city back from the brink of this crisis.”
“If we want our nation and economy to succeed, we must prepare our workforce to keep up with our fast-paced global world,” said Congressman Charles Rangel. “These federal funds will help both individuals and employers, allowing Americans to get a handle on the skills needed to not only land a job but grow a career – a productive career that improves the lives of their families and the communities that they choose to live in.”
“Once again, our efforts in Congress to immediately put stimulus dollars to work for New Yorkers have been successful,” said Congressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns. “The program announced today by Mayor Bloomberg will provide welcome assistance to those who are unemployed or seeking career advancement. This expansion of job-training and placement initiatives immediately offers New Yorkers opportunities in the health care industry and in a host of other fields, generating movement and growth in vital sectors of our economy over the next twelve months, starting this summer.”
“With so many New Yorkers displaced by the downturn, now is the time to invest in our workforce and make sure our hardworking men and women get the training needed to adjust to the changing economy,” said Congresswoman Velázquez. “These funds will help New Yorkers find good-paying jobs, stem job losses, and assist families that are struggling to make ends meet.”
“Job creation and sound economic development programs are the only cure for an ailing economy,” said Senate Majority Leader Smith. “The federal Adult Workforce Investment Act and the nearly $32 million it will bring into our communities is the type of investment we need to get struggling New York families back to work. I applaud President Obama and our Congressional Delegation for their work in securing the funding that will lead to continued growth in job placement and creation and a more successful partnership for employers and job seekers.”
“This funding once again shows that President Obama fully comprehends the scope of our current economic crisis and is responding with comprehensive solutions,” said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. “During this economic downturn, when so many New Yorkers have been laid off, it is crucial that we invest in our career centers and training and placement programs, to enable these workers to re-enter the workforce.”
“This infusion of federal stimulus funds for New York City under the Workforce Investment Act is great news for our city's workers and businesses, and represents an important part of our efforts on all levels of government to get our economy moving, and our people working, again,” said State Senator George Onorato, chairman of the State Senate Labor Committee. “These funds will help to advance what is already a valuable partnership among government, our business community, and New Yorkers in need of training and employment.”
“I want to thank Commissioner Walsh and the Department of Small Business Services for their leadership on this critical issue,” said Council Member Comrie. “I recently had the opportunity to partner with the Jamaica Workforce1 Career Center to host a job fair at York College and the response was enormous. The Southeast Queens community desperately needs this infusion of stimulus funding for employment training and placement services. Many residents are struggling to make ends meet as they’ve been downsized or laid off from their jobs. This has created another wave of foreclosures in my district and I am hopeful that these programs will mark the beginning of an economic turnaround. Given the high needs of this community, I am also hopeful that we will see additional stimulus funding appropriated for Southeast Queens infrastructure projects, which will also create more jobs.”
“This stimulus money will provide us with a key component in this City’s economic recovery,” said Council Member Weprin. “In order for this City to fully recover, we must reinvest in our very valuable and hardworking workforce and retrain our workforce so that they can meet the future demands of our City and its various job sectors.”
“With tens of thousands of hardworking New Yorkers in search of training and employment opportunities in high growth industries that pay wages that can support a family, $31.7 million dollars in Federal Stimulus Funding will go long way towards mitigating some of pain of this deep and particularly painful recession, while leveraging and building upon the successes of our Workforce 1 Centers,” said Council Member White, Jr.
“These additional resources are critical to the expansion of training opportunities for the increasing number of New Yorkers looking to gain new skills or change their careers,” said Commissioner Walsh. “We have created a strong foundation for these investments by ensuring that individuals can access quality training that leads to jobs.”
“I want to thank Secretary Solis and Governor Paterson for their efforts on behalf of more than 750,000 unemployed New Yorkers, which have resulted in a 13-week extension of Unemployment Insurance benefits for most of these unemployed, a mandate to match unemployed job seekers with stimulus jobs and more than $170 million in worker training dollars that are making their way through local communities all across the state,” State Labor Commissioner Smith. “This latest announcement is great news for unemployed residents of New York City, who will use these training funds to improve their skills, enhance their marketability to employers, and find good-paying jobs that will rebuild our economy and help us overcome this recession.”
To maintain accountability and transparency in the City’s use of stimulus funding, all such funding allocated to New York City can be closely tracked at www.nyc.gov/stimulustracker. ARRA dollars can be tracked from initial allocation through project completion. In addition, the public can track key performance measures – such as jobs created – showing how these projects and programs benefit the City.
The City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan is a comprehensive strategy to bring New York City through the current economic downturn as fast as possible. It focuses on three major areas: creating jobs for New Yorkers today, implementing a long-term vision for growing the city’s economy, and building affordable, attractive neighborhoods in every borough. Taken together, the initiatives that the City has launched to achieve these goals will generate thousands of jobs and put New York City on a path to economic recovery and growth. To learn more about the plan, visit nyc.gov. Recently, the City has announced:
Stu Loeser/Andrew Brent (212) 788-2958
Laura Postiglione (Small Business Services)