Innovative Strategies that Focus on Results
Increased Job Placements
In the past five years the workforce system has more than doubled the number of Workforce1 Career Centers in New York City to seven, increasing the City’s capacity to serve jobseekers in all five boroughs. Since the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) merged with the Department of Employment in 2003, the agency has dramatically increased the number of New Yorkers placed in jobs through the Workforce1 Career Centers from 127 per quarter to more than 6,000 per quarter today. Workforce1 Career Centers placed New Yorkers in 31,393 jobs in 2009. In 2010, our Workforce System surpassed a milestone of placing well over 100,000 jobseekers since April 2004.
New Location Openings
The NYC Business Solutions unit at the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) has revolutionized how New York City helps businesses to open new locations by developing a customized recruitment and screening process that enables businesses to open their new locations fully staffed and on time. Last year, NYC Business Solutions used this customized approach to help more than 30 businesses hire a total of over 2,000 employees for their new locations. Key employer accounts that utilized NYC Business Solutions’ location opening service include Eataly, TJ Maxx, and Aloft Hotel.
Enhanced Skills Training
NYC Business Solutions provides matching grants to businesses to help them hire and train new and existing employees. To date, the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) has awarded more than $8.1 million to support customized training programs at 113 local companies. These investments have been matched by more than $7.9 million in employer contributions. More than 4,700 New York City employees have received training through these awards.
In 2007, SBS’ customized training program was expanded through an investment by the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity. The program was expanded to include work readiness training such as adult literacy and numeracy, English as a Second Language, and workplace behavior skills.
The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and its workforce partners have implemented a holistic management approach, applying strong discipline and providing substantial technical assistance to contracted service providers. The workforce system's strong performance has been the result of clear objectives, effective strategies, meaningful performance metrics, and accountability. In early 2008, SBS and the NYC Workforce Investment Board launched the NYC Training Guide (www.nyc.gov/trainingguide). Supported by an investment from the City’s Center for Economic Opportunity, the NYC Training Guide is a research tool that matches jobseekers with appropriate training programs to promote skills development and career advancement. The NYC Training Guide provides detailed information about training courses and providers, enabling individuals to fully consider their training options and decide how a course meets their needs.
As another example of promoting best practices and improving accountability, the City now evaluates third-party training providers and posts the results of the Training Grant Provider Report Card online so jobseekers and businesses can choose providers with the best results.
Managing for Results
SBS launched Worksource1 in 2006, an award-winning web-based system that is designed to support the business operations in the NYC Workforce1 Career Centers. Worksource1 allows for the sharing of customer information across all Workforce1 Career Center locations, enabling Center staff to better understand customer needs and provide better service. The application includes case management and assessment tools, along with management reporting capabilities.
Most importantly, the system has streamlined workflow in the Centers, reducing the time it takes to perform data entry on information such as case notes, services consumed, job placements, and retention activities. The management reports provide a window into real-time system performance, which informs programmatic decision making. These innovations have enabled Center staff to spend more time providing higher quality services to our customers.