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Thursday, July 2, 2009


First Sector-specific Workforce1 Center Celebrates First Year and Serves Transportation Related Businesses throughout the City

Providing Job Training and Placement Services is a Central Part of the City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan

New York, July 2, 2009 – Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh and the Center for Economic Opportunity Executive Director Veronica M. White today announced that more than 1,000 job placements and promotions have been recorded through the Workforce1 NYC Transportation Center since it opened in Summer 2008. The City’s first sector specific career center, the Jamaica based center serves businesses and job seekers in various airport, bus and other transit related fields. Positions include bus drivers, security guards, ramp agents, truck drivers, cargo screeners, front line supervisors, baggage agents, and in other transportation-related occupations. Building on the center’s success, the City will open two additional sector specific Workforce1 Centers this year. Training 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.

“We have increased the number of New Yorkers we place in jobs through our Workforce1 Career Centers across the City by focusing on the hiring needs of local businesses and working to match jobseekers with the right opportunities,” said Commissioner Walsh. “By honing in to understand the labor needs of a specific sector, we believe we can further improve our ability to make the right connections between employers and jobseekers.” Located proximate to JFK airport in Jamaica, Queens, the Workforce1 NYC Transportation Center is the first sector specific career center in the City. Funded by the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO), the center provides qualified entry- and mid-level transportation employees to businesses in New York City by recruiting and screening applicants and providing targeted training for job candidates . Since opening in June 2008, the center has made 1,085 placements and promotions. The average pay scale for these jobs is $13, with jobs that pay as high as $22 an hour. This initiative serves New Yorkers looking for jobs and promotions as well as those seeking career advancement opportunities as a pathway out of poverty.

“CEO is pleased to see that the new Workforce1 NYC Transportation Center has been so effective in identifying jobs and training opportunities for New Yorkers,” said Executive Director Veronica M. White. “In fact, the early results from this innovative program are so promising that the City is looking to replicate the model.”

At least 80 companies have used the center’s hiring and screening services. Working closely with specific transportation firms to better assess their hiring and training needs, staff at the center develop customized solutions to meet those requirements. With extensive preparation and training services, the center has developed a pipeline of highly qualified transportation workers that saves companies time and money, improves productivity and makes businesses in the transportation sector more competitive.

Workforce1 NYC Transportation Center was recently recognized for its achievements. On May 18, the center received a 2009 New York City Employment & Training Coalition Opportunity Award at the Workforce Development Summit & Expo held at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. The center was awarded the Building Employer Partnerships Award for its innovative large-scale sector workforce model and extraordinary work that has resulted in placing New Yorkers in jobs as well as helping many others better their careers.

About the Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan
The 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.

About The Center for Economic Opportunity:
The Center for Economic Opportunity was established by Mayor Bloomberg in 2006 to implement innovative ways to reduce poverty in New York City. Led by Executive Director Veronica White and supported by a combination of public and private funds, the Center for Economic Opportunity works with City agencies to design and implement evidence-based initiatives aimed at poverty reduction. The Center manages an Innovation Fund through which it provides City agencies annual funding to implement such initiatives and also oversees a rigorous evaluation of each to determine which are successful in demonstrating results towards reducing poverty and increasing self sufficiency among New Yorkers. For more information about all of CEO’s initiatives, go to

About The Department of Small Business Services
The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) makes it easier for businesses in New York City to form, do business, and grow by providing direct assistance to business owners, fostering neighborhood development in commercial districts, and linking employers to a skilled and qualified workforce. NYC Workforce1 Career Centers offer services to meet the needs of all jobseekers, including one-on-one job and career counseling, technical and educational services, workshops, and referrals to training providers. For more information on all of SBS’ services go to

  Contact: Kathleen Carlson (CEO) 212-788-8949
Laura Postiglione (SBS) 212-513-6318

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