New York, October 26, 2009 - Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Robert W. Walsh, the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) Executive Director Veronica M. White and LaGuardia College President Dr. Gail Mellow today announced the opening of the Workforce1 Healthcare Career Center in Long Island City, Queens in order to connect New Yorkers to advanced training and employment opportunities in the growing healthcare sector. Providing job training and helping to place New Yorkers in jobs is a central part of the Bloomberg Administration’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan.
“The Workforce1 Healthcare Career Center is building on the success of the City’s existing Workforce1 Career Centers and focusing on an industry that is clearly growing with opportunities for higher paying jobs for New Yorkers,” said SBS Commissioner Walsh. “We are also reinforcing our partnership with CUNY and especially with LaGuardia Community College.”
The Workforce1 Healthcare Career Center, located at 30-20 Thomson Avenue on the campus of LaGuardia Community College, will focus on training New Yorkers for more promising careers and higher paying jobs in professions as patient care technicians, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, licensed practical nurses, and registered nurses, among other health-related occupations. It is expected that during the center’s first two years of operation more than 750 New Yorkers will be placed in jobs or receive promotions within the healthcare industry. LaGuardia Community College, one of the City’s leading healthcare training providers in New York City, will operate the center in partnership with SBS.
“In response to New York City’s growing demand for healthcare industry workers, LaGuardia Community College is pleased to partner with the New York City Department of Small Business Services in the development of the Workforce1 Healthcare Career Center,” said Dr. Mellow. “The Center will provide a full range of training and job placement services to new jobseekers, incumbent workers to assist businesses to strengthen the healthcare industry in New York City. A unique feature of the initiative will be a "Welcome Back Center," which will offer services to assist internationally trained healthcare workers to re-enter health careers in New York City. “
The Workforce1 Healthcare Career Center will serve unemployed New Yorkers looking for jobs as well as those seeking career advancement opportunities as a pathway out of poverty. The center is being funded in part by federal stimulus funding received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) as well as funds through the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO).
“The sector centers are a strong evidence-based and innovative way to help the working poor advance, and this new Center contributes to the scale up of this valuable workforce approach,” said Executive Director of the Center for Economic Opportunity Veronica M. White. “CEO’s successful pilot with the first transportation sector center positioned us well to use stimulus dollars effectively. An important part of the City’s anti-poverty agenda, this approach not only helps the unemployed, but also helps low-wage workers obtain jobs with better wages and more hours than traditional approaches. This is one of our many initiatives that are being expanded with federal and other funds in the coming year.”
The Workforce1 Healthcare Career Center is the second sector-focused career center opened by the City in the past year. The sector approach focuses on growth sectors and leads to higher wages for workers and better outcomes for businesses. In June 2008, CEO funding enabled SBS to launch its first sector-focused career center, the Workforce1 Transportation Career Center in Jamaica, Queens. To date, the transportation center has placed over 1,400 workers in jobs. In the next month, the city will continue to scale up this successful approach and open a third sector-based center in Brooklyn that will focus on placing New Yorkers in jobs in the manufacturing industry.
The healthcare sector continues to grow despite the recession, and it is expected that it will generate $3 million in new jobs in the next ten years. Employment in healthcare is expected to continue due in part to an aging population, with employment in home health care and nursing and residential care should increase rapidly as life expectancies rise, and as aging children are less able to care for their parents and rely more on long-term care facilities.
New York City had an increase of 13,800 healthcare jobs from August 2008 to August 2009. Over the past year, there has been a 91 percent increase in placements in the healthcare field through the city’s Workforce1 Career Centers. Currently, 20 percent of Workforce1 Career Center placements are in healthcare companies.
In May, New York City announced that it is using nearly $32 million of federal stimulus funding received under the ARRA to provide additional job training and placement services for 10,000 New Yorkers over the next two years. The total three-year budget for the Workforce1 Healthcare Career Center is $8.4 million. The Center is being funded with $2.5 million from the ARRA, $1.2 million will be used for operations during the first year and $1.3 million will be invested in occupational training; $5 million is being provided through WIA funds to support program operations; and CEO funds of $900,000 will support job readiness trainings and help nurses with foreign credentials transfer their credentials and prepare for US nursing exams.
LaGuardia Community College, in conjunction with the Workforce1 Healthcare Career Center, will offer eight stimulus-funded classes that cover a range of healthcare occupations. It is projected that more than 200 individuals will enroll in these classes. Additional funding is also available for Individual Training Grants, a program through which New Yorkers can receive vouchers to pay for job training.
In addition, SBS’ experienced NYC Business Solutions Healthcare unit will provide services for recruitment and training to healthcare companies at the Workforce1 Healthcare Career Center. NYC Business Solutions suite of services help business start, operate, and expand throughout the five boroughs, with account managers helping local businesses to recruit New Yorkers with the right skill sets.
The Workforce1 Healthcare Career Center will also benefit from its partnership with Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, a local non-profit organization that will provide training, placement, and support services for foreign-trained nurses and contribute to the overall mission and strategy of the healthcare center. There is also a healthcare advisory board with members from the 1199 Service Employees International Union (SEIU); New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, which oversees public hospitals and healthcare providers; Transcare, an EMT training provider; and Beth Israel Hospital.
SBS has overhauled workforce development in New York City about six year ago by ensuring that the services offered to jobseekers at the Workforce1 Career Centers are strongly linked to employer demand in high-growth industries. This strategy has resulted in placing New Yorkers in more than 80,000 jobs since the centers opened five years ago.
In addition to healthcare industry-specific preparation, the Workforce1 Healthcare Career Center will offer the full range of services available in New York City’s Workforce1 Career Centers that reach New Yorkers across the City's five boroughs. New Yorkers can find and prepare for employment with free services including career counseling; advice on how to interview for a job; assistance creating resumes and cover letters; job placement services; career workshops; employer recruitment events; and connection to occupational skills training. New Yorkers can find the nearest Workforce1 Career Center by calling 311.
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. To learn more go to www.nyc.gov
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 www.nyc.gov/sbs.
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 CEOs initiatives, go to www.nyc.gov/ceo.
About LaGuardia Community College
Located in Long Island City, Queens in New York City, LaGuardia Community College, part of the City University of New York, is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges. Founded in 1971, the College is recognized as an innovator in educating students who are under prepared for college work and/or are not primary English speakers. A catalyst for development in western Queens and beyond, LaGuardia serves New Yorkers and immigrants from 163 countries through over 50 majors and certificate programs, enabling career advancement and transfer to four-year colleges at twice the national average. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.