New York, June 14, 2010 – Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein of the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and Commissioner Robert W. Walsh of the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) joined a cohort of graduating seniors from three city high schools in a ceremony at Tweed Courthouse to congratulate them on successfully completing Scholars at Work, a first-of-its-kind partnership between the DOE, SBS and the New York City Workforce Investment Board (WIB). The program brings together the city’s publicly-supported education and workforce systems to provide a fuller range of options for young New Yorkers graduating from the city’s career and technical education (CTE) high schools, whose post-graduation plans might include work instead of or in addition to college.
As part of the program, 17 students completed a 14-week paid internship with New York City employers in the transportation industry during the spring 2010 academic semester. Several participating students already have been offered and have accepted full-time jobs from the companies with which they interned.
“I’m enormously proud of these students and the work they have done over the past 14 weeks,” said Chancellor Klein. “They represent schools across the city that are already graduating students college and career ready, on a path to success. Thanks to Commissioner Walsh and WIB President Weinberg, Scholars at Work makes good on the Mayor’s call for a closer alignment between our schools and our workforce.”
“Thanks to the vision of Chancellor Klein and his team, we were able to put the capabilities of our City’s network of Workforce1 Career Centers to work on behalf of our youth,” said Commissioner Walsh of SBS. “This is win-win for the schools, our workforce system, and most importantly, the students of our City’s technical high schools.”
“Our City’s economy requires a steady pipeline of skilled workers to continue growing and thriving,” said Philip Weinberg, President of the NYC WIB. “Scholars at Work is an important step in connecting those workers to meaningful career opportunities.”
In its first year, the program focused on preparing high school seniors for technical careers, incorporating opportunities for career exploration, professional development, and work-readiness training, as well as access to a paid internship experience related to the student’s field of study. Specifically, Scholars at Work established linkages between three CTE high schools—Automotive High School and Transit Tech Career and Technical High Schools in Brooklyn, and Aviation High School in Queens—and the Workforce1 Transportation Career Center in Jamaica, Queens, as the primary point of contact for the public adult workforce development system.
The Workforce1 Transportation Career Center helped facilitate the internships through outreach to local employers in the transportation sector with whom it had placed jobseekers or since the center’s opening in 2008. Following an intensive three-week pre-internship orientation in February, internships began on March 1 and lasted 14 weeks, through June 4. Students worked Monday through Friday, from 2:00PM to 5:00PM, typically leaving school for work after their lunch period.
"Scholars at Work builds bridges between our aspiring youth and the rewarding careers that await them,” said Ralph Hasbun, Regional Manager of Primeflight Aviation Services, which hosted two interns during the program.
In addition to the internship, the Scholars at Work program brought staff from the Workforce1 Transportation Career Center to provide career exploration, job readiness and career counseling services at the three participating schools. It is anticipated that these sessions will lead to additional job opportunities for participating students. The partners are currently considering how to expand the program into additional career sectors and CTE schools during the 2010-2011 school year and beyond, further developing this promising model for collaboration between adult and youth workforce systems in the New York City.
About the New York City Department of Education
The New York City Department of Education is the largest system of public schools in the United States, serving about 1.1 million students in over 1,600 schools. The Department’s Career and Technical Education Schools integrate rigorous academic study with workforce skills in specific career pathways. Students receive instruction in an industry-related area like computer graphics, veterinary science, restaurant management, carpentry & nursing, among others.
About the Department of Small Business Services
The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) makes it easier for businesses in New York City to start, operate and expand by providing direct assistance to business owners, fostering neighborhood development in commercial districts, and linking employers to a skilled and qualified workforce. For more information on all of SBS’ services, go to www.nyc.gov/sbs.
About the Workforce Investment Board
The New York City Workforce Investment Board (WIB) is a dynamic Board appointed by the Mayor to drive, coordinate and oversee workforce development services for adults and youth in New York City. New York City has the largest local workforce investment area in the nation, with nearly four million workers across the five boroughs. Board members include leaders from the private sector, public agencies, and labor unions, who advance the Mayor’s economic development and workforce agendas by ensuring that the City’s workforce system can deliver the skilled workers that local businesses need to grow, compete and prosper in the 21st century economy. For more information on the WIB go to www.nyc.gov/wib.