SBS Commissioner Robert W. Walsh has announced the opening of a new Workforce1 Career Center in the Rockaways, marking the 17th center since 2002 to open across all five boroughs. Workforce1 Career Centers have helped connect New Yorkers to approximately 200,000 jobs through career services such as free job preparation workshops, career counseling, training opportunities, and, in coordination with existing library resources, access to computers for self-directed job searches. In 2012 alone, the centers helped job seekers access 29,000 jobs through partnerships with public libraries, community colleges, and community organizations, and working directly with businesses to better understand workforce training needs and connect the supply of labor to the demand for labor. The new 1,120-square-foot center in the Rockaways is managed by Urban Upbound and located at the Queens Library branch on 1637 Central Avenue. The announcement was made during a ribbon cutting ceremony held at the new center, joined by NYC Council Member Donovan Richards, NY Sen. James Sanders, Jr., NY Assembly Member Phillip Goldfeder, Bishop Mitchell Taylor, CEO of Urban Upbound, and Queens Library President and CEO Thomas W. Galante.
“The new Workforce1 Career Center in the Queens Library will help bring resources closer to home for jobseekers in the Rockaways as the neighborhood gets back on its feet after hurricane Sandy,” said Rob Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “The Center will offer quality services to customers, and make solid matches for both candidates and employers in the Rockaways area.”
Workforce1 Career Centers were launched at the start of the Bloomberg Administration and offer one-on-one appointments with those seeking jobs that include resume assistance as well as job screenings and matching candidates with available jobs. Centers also have a resource area where New Yorkers can search and apply for jobs, and conference areas for skill building workshops. There are centers located in each of the five boroughs, which include sector based centers that are specifically focused on connecting job seekers to careers in the health care, transportation, and industrial sectors. New York City’s model has been the focus of other cities looking to replicate, with the federal government having funded the replication of the City’s approach in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and parts of Ohio.
“For far too long Rockaway residents who were looking for employment assistance have had to travel more than an hour to get to their nearest Workforce1 center,” said Council member Donovan Richards. “Thanks to the Department of Small Business Services and Queens Library, the nearest Workforce1 Center is now less than fifteen minutes away for most of my constituents. As we continue to rebuild our community post-sandy, I'm elated that we are adding services that will assist residents to get back on their feet financially.”
“I am excited to welcome the Workforce1 Career Center to the Rockaways,” said Assemblyman Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Beach). “This service provided by the NYC Department of Small Business Services will prepare and connect qualified candidates in Southern Queens and the Rockaway’s to job opportunities, making a tremendous impact on our economy and allowing residents to move forward with recovery after Superstorm Sandy.”
“We celebrate the addition of the new Worforce1 Career Center in the Queens Library and it will bring job opportunities to the surrounding South Queens community, including NYCHA’s public housing and Section 8 residents,” said NYCHA Chairman John Rhea. “As outlined in our strategic roadmap, Plan NYCHA, this Workforce Career Center illustrates our collaboration with city agency leaders and other stakeholders to better integrate public housing neighborhoods into the city’s overall community and economic development framework, ensuring their access to city resources.”
"Workforce1 is an excellent complement to Queens Library's job and business services. The library provides job-related skills assessment and continuing education, while Workforce1 connects prospective employers directly with job-seekers. It is a partnership that works, so Queens works,” said Thomas W. Galante, President and CEO, Queens Library.
“We look forward to making a significant difference in Far Rockaway in assisting the residents there in finding better jobs and increasing the overall quality of life through our employment services,” said Bishop Mitchell G. Taylor, CEO, Urban Upbound. “We're very excited and looking forward to collaborating with all of our partners and other community based organizations on the ground to make sure the residents of this community are served by this Workforce1 Center.”
Several resources are available to New Yorkers looking for jobs through www.nyc.gov, which offers a list of all Workforce1 Career Center locations throughout the City and the ability to sign up for the Workforce1 Career Bulletin, a weekly email featuring the latest job openings available through the centers. New Yorkers can also find valuable resources online through the Workforce1 Career Blog, and by following Workforce1 on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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.