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NYC Small Business Services
Press Release

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Appointment will strengthen City's ability to place New Yorkers in jobs and increase competitiveness of local businesses by meeting hiring needs

The City of New York today announced the appointment of Blake Foote as executive director of the New York City Workforce Investment Board (WIB). The board supports Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's economic development agenda by providing oversight and developing policies to connect New Yorkers to jobs and ensure that employers across the City have the skilled workers they need to grow, compete and prosper.

Foote served as Executive Director of NYC Business Solutions Hiring at the New York City Department of Small Business Services from 2005 – 2007, where she oversaw the City's recruitment initiatives for large New York City businesses in target industries; provided management support to the City's Workforce1 Career Centers to better enable the placement of more New Yorkers in jobs in high growth industries; and managed the agency's partnerships with workforce funding organizations. Previously, she served as Sector Employment Program Manager at the National Economic Development and Law Center and Fast-Track Training Academy Director at Jobs Consortium in Oakland, California. Foote holds an M.P.A. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a B.A. in International Relations from Georgetown University.

"Blake has been an integral part of our success in increasing the number of New Yorkers we place in jobs by more than 3,000 percent over the past several years by building a workforce system that is responsive to the labor needs of our City's employers," said Robert Walsh, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services. "Her keen ability to simultaneously serve our workforce and business community will bring strong purpose to this important board."

"I look forward to raising awareness of our transformed workforce development system in order to attract new members and position the Workforce Investment Board to provide the strong policy support and partnerships we need to continue to reduce unemployment and strengthen the business climate in New York City," said Foote.

"Over the past several years, the WIB has made great strides in building an efficient and effective economic development system," said Stuart Saft, Chair of the WIB and Partner at Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP. "Blake has the vision and gravitas to take these accomplishments to the next level by accessing opportunities in key industries."   

The executive director position was previously held by Marilyn Shea, who retired in September 2007.

Kara Alaimo
(212) 513-6318

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