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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 21, 2009

Contact: Laura Postiglione (SBS) 212-513-6318


SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES COMMISSIONER WALSH AND CONGRESSMAN TOWNS MEET WITH LOCAL CLERGY AND FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATIONS AT THE BROOKLYN WORKFORCE1 CAREER CENTER

Initiative to Raise Awareness of the City’s Expanded Job training and Placement Services

Providing Job Training for New Yorkers and Helping Place them in Jobs is Part of the Bloomberg Administration’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan

New York, August 21, 2009 - Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Robert W. Walsh and U.S. Rep. Edolphus Towns (NY-10) today met with local clergy and representatives from faith-based community organizations in an effort to raise awareness about the City's expanded job training and placement services as a result of federal stimulus funding. Today's event, held at the Brooklyn Workforce1 Career Center, was hosted by the Workforce Investment Board (WIB) as an outreach effort to ensure that New Yorkers have access to job placement and training services offered by the City. Providing job training for New Yorkers and helping place them in jobs is part of the Bloomberg Administration's Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan.

"Community leaders are essential partners in our efforts to educate New Yorkers about the services offered for businesses and jobseekers through the Workforce1 Careers Centers," said Commissioner Walsh. "As a key co-sponsor of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Congressman Towns has ensured that job placement services and training opportunities are available for the increasing number of New Yorkers looking for jobs or seeking to gain new skills."

"Our efforts in Congress to immediately put stimulus dollars to work for New Yorkers have been successful, especially here in Brooklyn" said Congressman Towns. "Getting the clergy to see first hand the services that the Brooklyn Workforce Center offers is integral to helping residents retrain and find jobs during these economic times. I applaud Commissioner Walsh for his efforts in developing Career Centers that deliver services with a professional atmosphere and ensure that New Yorkers have access to quality training and placement services."
At today's event, about a dozen local clergy and representatives from faith-based community organizations toured the career center located at 9 Bond Street. The group was also given an overview of the services offered though the City's Workforce1 Career Centers, including career counseling, job placement and job training. Since the Brooklyn Workforce1 Career Center opened in 2004, the center's career specialists have helped place more than 16,000 New Yorkers in jobs. Since the beginning of the year, more than 2,400 job placements have been made through the Brooklyn Center. Since the beginning of the year, more than 12,000 New Yorkers have been placed in jobs citywide as result of the services provided through the City's eight Workforce1 Career Centers.

In May, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and US Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced that 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 is being directed towards new and existing programs offered through New York City's Workforce1 Career Centers in all five boroughs.

The programs receiving funding through the ARRA include job training and placement in a wide variety of fields through programs administered by the 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.  The WIB oversees these federally funded workforce programs that promote an increase in the employment, job retention, earnings, and occupational skills improvement of participants. 

"Congressman Towns has been a key voice in making sure our City has the resources it needs to help New Yorkers receive training and get back to work," said Workforce Investment Board President Philip Weinberg. "The stimulus funds are instrumental in ensuring that all New Yorkers are afforded the opportunity to access job placement and training services offered by the City."

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. For more information go to www.nyc.gov

About the Workforce Investment Board
The New York City Workforce Investment Board (WIB) administers the federal Workforce Investment Act funds in New York City and oversees the public workforce system run by the Department of Small Business Services and the Department of Youth and Community Development. The WIB is made up of over 40 volunteer members, appointed by the Mayor, representing local businesses, educational institutions, labor unions, community-based organizations, and other government agencies.

About The Department of Small Business Services
The Department of Small Business Services 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 www.nyc.gov/sbs



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