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Mayor Adams Launches City's First Community Hiring Effort With $1.2 Billion to Connect Underserved New Yorkers With Good-Paying Jobs

June 20, 2024

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Billion-Dollar-Plus Contracts to Be First to Set Community Hiring Goals Since Law Went Into Effect 

40 Percent of Labor Hours to Be Performed by Individuals Who Live in NYCHA Housing or ZIP Codes Where at Least 15 Percent of Residents Live Below Federal Poverty Line

Announcement Concludes Mayor Adams’ “Spring Jobs Sprint,” Which Created Opportunity for Thousands of New Jobs Over Final Weeks of Season

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the city’s first-ever community hiring effort, which will leverage more than $1.2 billion in city contracts to create job opportunities for underserved New Yorkers. Community hiring allows the city to use its purchasing power, set hiring goals across city procurement contracts, and build on the success of existing project labor agreements and agency-specific hiring programs. Today, the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) released the city’s first-ever request for proposal (RFP) subject to community hiring, which will result in an estimated $1.2 billion in contracts for security guard services and fire safety personnel throughout the five boroughs. The contracts awarded under this RFP contain a community hiring goal for 40 percent of the labor hours to be performed by individuals who live in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) housing or in a ZIP code where at least 15 percent of the population lives below the federal poverty threshold. With state legislation on community hiring going into effect on May 15, in just over one month, the Adams administration is already delivering on the potential of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Community Hiring (OCH) to create more equitable pathways for New Yorkers to participate in the city’s economy.

“Today, we are sending a clear message: if you want to work with the City of New York, you need to put the community first,” said Mayor Adams. “From day one, our administration set out to lead by example on showing the nation that we could do smarter, more inclusive, and equitable contracts that engaged communities most in need. With this landmark RFP, we are bringing real, good-paying jobs to our neighbors in NYCHA and to ZIP codes across our city that have been forgotten for far too long. Together, we are building the economy of the future in a city where opportunity reaches every block, neighborhood, and borough.”

“This historic legislation delivers on priorities the Adams administration has been advancing since day one: putting money back into the pockets of everyday New Yorkers,” said First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. “With community hiring, not only are we ensuring that essential city services get done, but we are also ensuring that these services lead to real opportunities for underserved New Yorkers. With the launch of this effort, we are leveraging $1.2 billion worth of contracts to create job opportunities for individuals from NYCHA and low-income neighborhoods. This is a true commitment to ensuring that New York City works for every New Yorker.”

“Less than 40 days after the community hiring legislation became effective, the Adams administration has taken rapid action to make its benefits real for New Yorkers,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “This velocity makes clear our commitment towards action in tackling historic disparities in employment. Today’s milestone also follows our recent announcement that the administration is ahead of schedule and nearly halfway in reaching our moonshot goal of delivering 30,000 apprenticeships by 2030, as we are on track to deliver over 14,000 apprenticeship opportunities by end of 2024. We set ambitious goals to ‘Get Stuff Done’ and will continue to deliver for New Yorkers.”

“As we embark on this groundbreaking initiative, we're not just awarding contracts, we’re investing in the future of our communities,” said DCAS Commissioner Dawn M. Pinnock. “By prioritizing community hiring, we’re ensuring that municipal opportunities are accessible to those who need them the most. Today marks a historic milestone in our journey towards increased equity and inclusion for all New Yorkers, where we turn our contracts into catalysts for positive change.”

“This landmark RFP that leverages the city’s purchasing power to position jobseekers and companies for success highlights how the Adams administration is making tangible progress to build a more inclusive economy that works for all New Yorkers,” said New York City Mayor’s Office of Talent and Workforce Development Executive Director Abby Jo Sigal. “By setting community hiring goals for NYCHA residents and residents in economically-disadvantaged communities, we are building pathways for economic mobility while reversing decades of historic disinvestment that has prevented too many low-income and Black and brown New Yorkers from fully contributing to, and benefiting from, the city’s prosperity.”

“Since the state legislation that authorized community hiring passed, our team has been working diligently to operationalize community hiring,” said OCH Executive Director Doug Lipari. “Community hiring provides the city with a remarkable opportunity to further embed equity into its procurement process. We are thrilled to announce the release of the first city RFP subject to community hiring goals and are incredibly grateful to our internal and external partners, collaborators, and advocates who have helped us reach this historic milestone.”

“Providing equitable employment and business opportunities for our city’s most marginalized communities are what this administration has been committed to from day one,” said New York City Chief Business Diversity Officer Michael J. Garner. “Whether it’s helping a certified minority or woman-owned business enterprise secure its first city contract or providing a living wage employment opportunity for a head of household NYCHA resident, we can leverage our great city’s vast purchasing power towards creating life-changing economic opportunities in local communities that have been left behind despite their many contributions to our rich culture. The community hiring initiative and M/WBE program fundamentally share the same goal of eradicating systemic and historic inequities in our business environment and creating pathways towards economic upward mobility. I commend Mayor Adams for his vision and leadership and remain excited to partner with my colleagues at OCH, DCAS, NYCHA, and MOCS on this landmark RFP.”

“New York City has experienced numerous procurement milestones during the Adams administration, and today’s community hiring announcement adds to that list,” said New York City Chief Procurement Officer and Mayor’s Office of Contract Services (MOCS) Director Lisa M. Flores. “Community hiring is a crucial tool in building the equitable procurement system that New Yorkers deserve. It showcases how reforming the way we contract can bring about positive change and trigger economic growth in communities throughout our city — especially our most vulnerable. We are proud to have worked in collaboration with DCAS since the beginning of the Adams administration in developing this RFP, as well as a M/WBE-specific pre-qualified list for awards under $1.5 million, which together will revitalize the security guard portfolio for competitiveness, quality, and equity. The addition of community hiring will only enhance these benefits, and I am thrilled to work with the OCH in expanding this program across our agencies and contracts.”

“It is so important to ensure equitable hiring opportunities — like those set forth by the Adams administration’s first-of-its-kind request for proposal subject to community hiring — for the one in every 17 New Yorkers who call NYCHA home,” said NYCHA Chief Executive Officer Lisa Bova-Hiatt. “These hardworking, intelligent, and ambitious public housing residents, as well as others living below the poverty line in New York City, deserve viable opportunities for economic advancement as they and the diverse communities they represent are what make New York the greatest city in the world.”

“Community hiring has been a key component of the ‘New’ New York action plan to generate equitable employment opportunities across our city,” said “New” New York Executive Director B.J. Jones. “With its implementation, thanks to the leadership of Executive Director Doug Lipari, the Adams administration is harnessing the city’s purchasing power and putting our money where our mouth is to ensure all communities take part in our economic recovery.”

“Investing in the future of our city requires equitable and fair hiring practices for all New Yorkers, and this landmark legislation cements a commitment to achieving that goal,” said New York City Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Sue Donoghue.Community hiring is a crucial step in engaging future employees with New York City Parks, and, combined with Mayor Adams’ initiatives for retaining talent, our agency is positioned to provide the services and resources that make our parks vital for all New Yorkers. We are excited to join this administration in inviting the next generation of city employees to make our city great.”

“With this innovative RFP, the Adams administration is again reaffirming its commitment to using every mechanism at its disposal to ensure that the city’s procurement efforts contribute directly to our goal of supporting disadvantaged communities and creating pathways to economic stability for New Yorkers in need,” said New York City Department of Social Services Commissioner Molly Wasow Park. “This community hiring initiative will allow us to build on our successful efforts to connect the low-income New Yorkers we serve with gainful employment opportunities while concurrently addressing the long-term disinvestment in communities of color across the city. We applaud the administration and DCAS for prioritizing this initiative and releasing this RFP just over a month after the state’s community hiring legislation became effective.”

“Under our leadership, the New York City Department of Transportation is focused on equitable hiring processes to ensure staff at all levels of the agency — as well as our contractors — better reflect the demographics of our great city,” said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “This RFP is an important step in delivering a fairer and more livable New York, and I applaud Mayor Adams and his administration for advancing this great community hiring initiative.”

“Whether providing increased access to good-paying jobs or free high-speed internet, the Adams administration continuously delivers critical opportunities and services to the underserved New Yorkers who need them most,” said New York City Chief Technology Officer Matthew Fraser. “Today’s community hiring announcement, in addition to the ongoing Jobs NYC initiative, demonstrates yet again our commitment to empowering working-class New Yorkers and building a more livable city for residents of all ZIP codes.”

“Community hiring is a game changer. Residents in NYCHA or historically underserved communities can now live, work, and earn a living wage in their neighborhood by leveraging the city’s enormous purchasing power,” said New York City Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Keith Howard. “With record investments in workforce programs, our mayor continues to level up, and the Department of Youth and Community Development stands ready to support in any we can.”

“The New York City Department of Design and Construction promotes community hiring with targeted employment of local union members through projects, such as East Side Coastal Resiliency, and in our growing design-build program,” said New York City Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Thomas Foley. “Having local residents on a project allows us to better understand and react to people’s needs and to more fairly share the financial benefits that our large portfolio of projects generates. Our team builds in every neighborhood and should hire from every neighborhood as well.”

“Community hiring is a win-win as New Yorkers gain an opportunity to secure good-paying jobs while the city benefits from employing individuals with direct experience in the communities we serve,” said New York City Chief Climate Officer and New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala. “This will be especially critical as we transform our city’s built environment to make it more resilient to the changing climate, an effort that will be powered by accessible, ‘green-collar’ jobs conducted by New Yorkers in communities who need these opportunities most.”

“With 18 Workforce1 Centers across the five boroughs that have served over 87,000 New Yorkers in the last fiscal year alone, we know first-hand at the New York City Department of Small Business Services that matching members of the community to good jobs is essential to building our economy,” said New York City Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Kevin D. Kim. “This landmark initiative doubles down on the mayor's efforts to combine the world's greatest talent with the city's greatest needs, and brings historic opportunities to the NYCHA community.”

Once the RFP is awarded, the resulting contracts will provide an estimated 10 million hours of prevailing wage job opportunities for NYCHA residents and residents of low-income communities over the five-year contract term. Job opportunities include security guards, security guard supervisors, field inspectors, field managers, and an emergency action plan and fire safety director. New hires will be provided with 40 hours of no-cost training as part of their employment. OCH will work closely with DCAS to ensure that the vendors are able to access the talent they need and that New Yorkers in search of opportunity can connect with available opportunities. Additionally, DCAS, in partnership with MOCS and the Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises, are continuing to use procurement opportunities to drive equitable economic development by increasing minority- and women-owned business enterprise (M/WBE) utilization. The RFP will require city agencies with under $1.5 million in annual spending on security guard services to solicit from a pre-qualified list of M/WBE firms.

Last year, Mayor Adams announced the formation of the Office of Community Hiring and the appointment of Doug Lipari as its executive director after successfully advancing legislation in Albany with support from labor, state elected leaders, and workforce organizations. OCH will work with contractors to identify promising talent and provide employment and apprenticeship opportunities for low-income individuals and those residing in economically-disadvantaged communities. Once fully implemented, an estimated 36,000 jobs will be created annually for low-income individuals and impacted communities, allowing city contractors to leverage the full talent of the New York City workforce.

Today’s announcement builds on a series of policy reforms made by Mayor Adams to retain top talent in city government, provide high-quality services to New Yorkers, and create equitable pipelines to enter the workforce. Under Mayor Adams, the unemployment rate for Black New Yorkers has significantly decreased since the start of the administration. Between January 1, 2022, and April 1, 2024, the Black unemployment rate in the five boroughs decreased from 10.7 percent to 7.9 percent — a 26 percent decrease. This marks the first time in half a decade that the Black unemployment rate in New York City has been below 8 percent. Building on this progress, the city launched “Run This Town,” a multi-media advertising campaign to engage diverse New Yorkers and help them apply for thousands of available city government jobs. The announcement follows the launch of “Jobs NYC,” a multi-pronged citywide effort to reduce barriers to economic opportunities and deliver workforce development services directly to communities across the five boroughs that are experiencing high unemployment. Both campaigns are expected to further reduce the unacceptable disparities in employment between Black, Latino, and white communities.

Today’s announcement concludes Mayor Adams “Spring Jobs Sprint,” which has delivered thousands of opportunities for new jobs over the final weeks of the season. The rapid economic development campaign included a new agreement to transform the Brooklyn Marine Terminal into a modern maritime port and vibrant mixed-use community hub with the potential to create thousands of jobs; a nearly $12 million expansion towards The City University of New York (CUNY) Inclusive Economy Initiative, which leverages CUNY campus resources to create college-to-career pipelines for CUNY students; $10 million to seed the city’s next major small business loan fund; and a plan to deliver over 14,000 apprenticeship opportunities by the end of 2024, on the path to 30,000 apprenticeships by 2030, among other initiatives.

Mayor Adams has also successfully negotiated contracts with unions representing more than 96 percent of the city’s workforce and 100 percent of the city’s uniformed workforce — the quickest any mayoral administration has reached that milestone in modern city history, delivering fair wages and benefits to hundreds of thousands of municipal workers, many who went years without a wage increase. Following the pattern established by the agreement with District Council 37 (DC 37) in February 2023, the Adams administration continued to reach settlements with unions representing nearly all of the city’s workforce, including the United Federation of Teachers, the Communication Workers of America Local 1180Teamsters Local 237, the Council of Supervisors and Administrators, and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, as well as with unions representing uniformed workers including the Police Benevolent Association, the Uniformed Officers Coalition, and the United Sanitation Workers’ Union Local 831, among dozens of others.

Additionally, in an effort to retain talent in the human services sector, Mayor Adams, earlier this year, announced a $741 million investment for an estimated 80,000 human services workers employed by non-profit organizations with a city contract as part of a new cost-of-living adjustment. Finally, in Fiscal Year 2023, the first full fiscal year of the Adams administration, the city set a new record for spending on city-certified M/WBEs, awarding over $6 billion in total to M/WBE firms in the fiscal year through OneNYC contracting, with a record-setting 1,903 certified vendor firms.

“I commend Mayor Adams for taking the worthy concept of community hiring from vision to reality, in a way that will empower and enrich our people,” said New York State Senator Cordell Cleare. “Uplifting communities out of poverty does not require rocket science, but it does demand common-sense, targeted and long-term investment in our neighborhoods.  With today’s announcement, I am confident that City dollars will now flow in a way that brings forth a multiplier effect not just economically, but socially.”

“I commend Mayor Adams for his forward-thinking approach to ensuring high-quality job and job training opportunities for all New Yorkers,” said New York State Senator Kevin Parker. “By including community hiring goals in the next set of RFPs, underserved and under resourced communities will benefit from the increased job opportunities right in their own backyard.”

“I applaud Mayor Adams and his administration for announcing New York City's first RFP with community hiring goals,” said New York State Assemblymember Stefani L. Zinerman. “As the sponsor of the original community hiring legislation in the State Assembly that was signed into law by Governor Hochul this May, I am excited to see swift implementation of the law. I look forward to collaborating with Mayor Adams and DCAS to ensure that businesses awarded city contracts uphold the requirements to hire and train low-income residents of NYCHA and in communities with high numbers of low-income residents, equipping them with marketable skills that will serve them well after the projects have reached completion. The impact of this legislation will have far-reaching positive outcomes for the employees and New York City.”

“As we continue to strive for economic equity and empowerment, Mayor Eric Adams' initiative to launch the city's first-ever request for proposals (RFP) with community hiring goals marks a historic step forward,” said New York State Assemblymember Inez Dickens. “This landmark effort is a testament to our commitment to creating job and training opportunities for underserved New Yorkers, particularly within the African American community. By prioritizing inclusivity in our workforce, we are paving the way for a brighter future where everyone has the chance to thrive and succeed. I commend Mayor Adams for his visionary leadership and dedication to building a more equitable New York City.”

“I was proud to partner with Mayor Adams to pass the historic community hiring legislation, and today we put it into action by releasing the first RFP to contain this goal,” said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “We are pledging $1.2 billion in City contracts that will create jobs for workers from low-income communities and NYCHA housing. Community hiring is a powerful tool to transform the lives of low-income families and uplift entire communities. When fully implemented, it will deliver 40,000 building trades jobs that offer living wages, benefits, and a path to economic prosperity. These tens of thousands of new jobs build upon our achievement of already creating the most jobs in New York City history.”

“As an Assemblymember dedicated to creating equitable opportunities for all New Yorkers, I am thrilled to support Mayor Eric Adams’ groundbreaking initiative,” said New York State Assemblymember Eddie Gibbs. “This first-ever Request for Proposal with community hiring goals represents a significant step toward ensuring that our city's growth benefits everyone. By prioritizing local hiring and training, we are not only creating jobs but also investing in the future of our communities. This initiative aligns perfectly with our commitment to fostering inclusive economic development and empowering residents with the skills and opportunities they need to thrive.”

“Increasing our labor force and decreasing our unemployment are essential goals for moving our borough forward and ensuring our residents have access and opportunities that will create pathways to the middle class,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “I want to thank Mayor Adams for today`s announcement that aligns with our priorities to uplift and empower our residents from historically marginalized communities with the tools and the resources to be successful in our borough and city.”

“City contracting should not only improve our infrastructure and quality of life, but also uplift working New Yorkers along the way,” said New York City Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers. “As a long-time proponent of local hiring goals, I stand in support of Mayor Adams’ landmark RFP that mandates community hiring provisions in New York City. Community hiring is an issue of basic fairness as it ensures that those who live in our communities have a true opportunity to contribute to our community's growth.”

“Thank you Mayor Adams for taking an innovative approach to address the labor shortage our city is facing,” said New York City Council Member Dr. Nantasha Williams. “New York City has record low unemployment but people are still underemployed so I am happy to hear our City is investing in engagement to meet its goals of creating opportunities in communities in need.”

“More than 3,000 of the security officers 32BJ represents work under city contracts. These security officers put their lives on the line to protect public employees, public property, and their fellow New Yorkers at the municipal buildings surrounding City Hall, HRA Centers, DHS shelters, Staten Island ferry terminals, and more,” said Israel Melendez, vice president, 32BJ. “32BJ is proud to celebrate the city’s announcement of a new Request for Proposal from security vendors to provide guard services across New York City.”

“The launch of this community hiring effort represents yet another crucial step in providing more family-sustaining career opportunities to New Yorkers of all backgrounds, especially those in our underserved communities,” said Gary LaBarbera, president, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. “If we are to truly address some of the challenges we face and continue to bolster the economy, we must make it more plausible for hard working people and their families to rise up into the middle class via a career that is accessible, fulfilling and good paying, and community hiring programs have the potential to do just that. We look forward to supporting the Mayor’s rollout of this effort and applaud him and Governor Hochul for their roles in making this venture possible.”

“In 2023, the Mason Tenders' District Council was proud to support Mayor Adams' legislation to create targeted, community hiring in New York City,” said David Bolger, business manager, Mason Tenders' District Council of Greater New York. “Today's announcement is just the start of New York City harnessing its procurement power to put people to work in good, union jobs and we look forward to being a part of making community hiring a success.”

“Community hiring provides a path to a more equitable workforce for all New Yorkers by ensuring residents, especially those from marginalized neighborhoods, have opportunities to choose career paths starting in their communities,” said Vincent Alvarez, president, New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “This groundbreaking effort will also help to strengthen local economies by fostering economic activity and growth within the communities where people both live and work.”

“Low-income and at-risk communities need equitable access to quality jobs to break the cycles that contribute to poverty,” said Henry Garrido, executive director, District Council 37. “We applaud this new RFP and the requirements that prioritize the hiring of individuals living in NYCHA facilities, and look forward to future contracts that uplift working-class families.” 

“Mayor Adams' community hiring policy will finally allow New York City to channel their procurement power to create direct opportunities for New Yorkers to have good, union jobs,” said Michael Prohaska, business manager, Laborers Local 79. “Local 79 was proud to support the legislation in 2023 and we're proud to be here today as the first procurement contract goes out with hiring goals that will change New Yorker's lives.”

“District Council 9 applauds Mayor Eric Adams for his groundbreaking initiative to allocate more than a billion dollars in city contracts with community hiring goals,” said Joseph Azzopard, business manager and secretary treasurer, District Council 9. “This is a significant step toward bridging economic disparities and providing meaningful job opportunities for underserved New Yorkers. By prioritizing labor hours for individuals from NYCHA housing and communities with high poverty rates, Mayor Adams is not only fostering economic growth but also empowering our city's residents to build a brighter future. We are proud to support this initiative and look forward to contributing to its success.”

“Too often, low-income New Yorkers are beset by underemployment and low-paying jobs that offer little opportunity for upward mobility. The City of New York's community hiring program will create a new launchpad of opportunity, especially for young adults who experience poverty at higher rates than any other age group in our city,” said Richard R. Buery, Jr., CEO, Robin Hood. “Upskilling through paid apprenticeships will give low-income New Yorkers a fair shot at landing permanent jobs and rewarding careers that provide advancement, benefits, and livable wages. Community hiring is an exciting first step to making our city an equitable place that provides real opportunities for all New Yorkers.”

“As our city works to address unemployment and underemployment, it is essential that we use every tool at our disposal to prepare New Yorkers for good jobs in growing industries and occupations. That is why we stood alongside this administration here and in Albany to support community hiring legislation. Today's announcement is the first step in what we hope will be an impactful and sustainable commitment to providing the on-ramps to opportunity for local talent using our city’s tremendous purchasing and procurement power,” said Gregory J Morris, CEO, New York City Employment and Training Coalition. “By prioritizing New Yorkers who have not yet found a strong foothold in the job market and connecting those New Yorkers to robust training programs that fill the existing and future talent gaps, we will build a better workforce development ecosystem and foster economic equity for all New Yorkers.”

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