FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 22, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES HOW SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES MET ITS EXPANDED GOAL OF 20,000 JOB PLACEMENTS FOR NEW YORKERS SIX WEEKS EARLY IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, November 22, 2009
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"When the national economy plummeted last fall, one of the first things we did was expand our job training and placement efforts. At the beginning of 2009, we pledged that this year our Workforce1 Career Centers would place 20,000 people in jobs. It was an ambitious goal to set, particularly when you consider that in 2004 - when the economy was much stronger than it is now - our career centers were only placing about 500 New Yorkers in jobs per year.
"Our Department of Small Business Services, which runs Workforce1, has been working overtime to reach our goal. Since last December, Workforce1 Career Centers have been open three evenings a week and on alternate Saturdays, too. That's increased monthly hours of operation by roughly a third, making these centers far more convenient for New Yorkers who have other work, school, or family responsibilities.
"I'm pleased to report that all that hard work paid off. Last week, a full six weeks ahead of schedule, we reached 20,000 job placements for the year and set a new annual record. On Thursday, I had a chance to meet the man we placed in job number 20,000. His name is Edward and in September, he was laid off from a job he had held for the past 20 years. During that stressful time, Edward went to the Brooklyn Workforce One Career Center for assistance. The staff there was able to help him secure a post in a brand new clothing and home fashion store that just opened in Brooklyn on Thursday.
"Connecting job seekers to employers is just one way we're helping New Yorkers weather these tough times. Another way is through a sweeping service initiative that we launched earlier this year called NYC Service.
"NYC Service has allowed us to tap into the unparalleled power of volunteers to help solve some of our city's most pressing challenges. For example, last week we teamed up with the Food Bank for New York City to help our city's hunger-relief organizations recruit the volunteers they'll need to operate for the next 12 months. Normally, these organizations receive an influx of volunteers during the holiday season, but then those numbers tend to drop off during other times of the year. To solve that problem, we're encouraging groups of volunteers as well as individuals to essentially 'adopt' a food program and sustain their volunteer commitment beyond the holiday season for another six to twelve months. Helping out a hunger-relief organization is a great opportunity for schools, religious organizations, businesses, or social groups - such as sports leagues or book clubs - to give back as a team.
"With Thanksgiving almost upon us, this is a good time for all of us to stop, take a look around, and remember just how fortunate we really are: We live in a city where crime rates are dropping and student achievement is rising. We should be thankful for that. But, at the same time, let's remember: It's been a hard year for many of our friends and neighbors - and our food pantries really do need our support. By adopting a food program, you will be giving a gift that lasts throughout the entire year. Anyone interested in adopting a food program can call 311 or go to the NYC Service website at nyc.gov and submit a volunteer interest form.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening and have a very happy Thanksgiving."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958