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Mayor de Blasio and First Lady Mccray Announce Creation of Center for Youth Employment

May 5, 2015

New public-private partnership between Administration and local business leaders to provide 100,000 youth internships, mentorships, and summer jobs each year by 2020 – including universal access to summer jobs for young people in shelter or foster care

$3.2 million raised by Mayor’s Fund from city’s business and foundation community including founding partners Citi Foundation, Arcus Foundation, Goldman Sachs Gives, The James Family Charitable Foundation, Macy’s Inc., Tishman Speyer, and the Partnership for NYC

Administration calls upon New York City’s business community to join the effort this year and beyond – sign up by May 15 to provide a job for Summer 2015 at

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray today announced the creation of the Center for Youth Employment, which will coordinate and expand efforts to connect New York City’s young people to opportunities for career exposure, summer jobs, quality skills-building programs, supportive mentors, and thoughtful guidance towards college and a career. The Center, a public-private initiative, will aim to substantially increase employer engagement and partnership opportunities with a goal of ultimately connecting 100,000 young New Yorkers ages 14-24 to summer jobs, mentorships, and internships each year by 2020 – an increase of 75 percent over current capacity.

The Center, conceived and launched by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City in collaboration with City agencies and private partners, will be integrated into the existing Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, supported by an initial raise of $3.2 million from the city’s business and philanthropic community, including founding partners Citi Foundation, Arcus Foundation, Goldman Sachs Gives, The James Family Charitable Foundation, Macy’s Inc.,  Tishman Speyer, and the Partnership for New York City. Immediate goals for 2015 include doubling private sector paid internships to 1,000, doubling the number of summer jobs for NYC’s most vulnerable youth in foster care or shelters to 2,000, and funding the training of 1,000 teachers and other in-school educators to provide career counseling. The Center will also focus efforts on the City’s career and technical education schools, cementing school connections with a relevant industry partner to provide professional experience for students. This effort is part of the Administration's Career Pathways strategy, which re-envisions the City’s workforce development and education programs to connect more New Yorkers to quality employment.

“We can all remember that first job, that first adult who took notice and fostered our interests, and I commend our partners in this initiative for creating that same opportunity for tens of thousands more young New Yorkers – and call on large and small employers all around the city to join us,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Everyone has a role in ensuring the success of the next generation, which will in turn improve the long-term strength of our workforce and our economy. Today, with our partners, we are not only fulfilling our responsibility to our young people, we are moving forward in the fight against inequality. One hundred thousand jobs and mentorships is much more than a number on a page – it’s one hundred thousand advances toward a city of opportunity for all.”

“As Chair of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, I am committed to putting public-private partnerships to work on behalf of the city’s most challenging problems. So many of New York City’s successful men and women started their career path with a summer job or a mentor who helped build their skills and self-confidence,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “We want to give that experience to many more of our young adults, including those in foster care or shelter who have the fewest opportunities. Our goal is to encourage these young people to pursue and envision not just a job, but a career. The Center for Youth Employment does just that and the Mayor’s Fund is committed to its success.”

“There has been limited coordination between employers, city agencies, non-profits and the philanthropic community when it comes to college and career readiness efforts in our city,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor, Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships and Vice-Chair of the Mayor’s Fund. “Today, we take the first step in creating a holistic system through public-private partnership to create life-changing opportunities for young New Yorkers. I am proud to work with all of our funding partners who are making a truly lasting impact on our city’s future.”

“There’s little doubt about the positive impact a job, internship, or mentorship can have on the life of a young New Yorker – and youth employment stands to positively influence the broader economy, too, as part of our work to cultivate the homegrown talent that businesses need to thrive,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen. “As the first point of connection to on-the-job education and career exposure, the Center for Youth Employment will help propel a tremendous number of young New Yorkers to success as participants in New York City’s dynamic, equitable, and sustainable economy.”

The 60 private sector employers and funding partners who are already supporting the new initiative represent a diverse cross-section of industries driving our city’s economy, including: Allen Health Care Services; Amalgamated Bank; American Airlines; Arcus Foundation; Association for a Better New York; Bank of America; Blackrock, Inc.; Beyond Times Square; The Blackstone Group L.P.; Bright Horizons Family Solutions; Citi Foundation; Deloitte; Dinex Group LLC.; The Empire State Building; Firelight Media Group LLC; Gerson Lehrman Group; Goldman Sachs Gives; Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America; HAKS Construction; The Hearst Corporation; Hornblower Cruises and Events, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP; The James Family Charitable Foundation; JP Morgan Chase & Co.; KPMG; Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP; L + M Development Partners; LaGuardia Plaza Hotel;; LDI Color Toolbox; Macy’s Inc.; Manhattan By Sail; MasterCard Inc.; MCR Development LLC; Medidata Solutions, Inc.; Modell’s Sporting Goods; National Grid PLC; National Lighthouse Museum; Neuberger Berman Group LLC; New York Road Runners; Newmark Grubb Knight Frank; New York Daily News; On Location Tours; Partnership for NYC; Pearson Education; Pfizer Inc.; Primary One LLC; Receptive Tours NYC; The Related Companies; SL Green Realty Corporation; St. John’s University; Team America Inc.; The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.; Tishman Speyer; Two Sigma Investments; Unique Productions; Young & Rubicam.

Currently, City agencies and external partners work largely independently on various youth employment programs. The Center will coordinate and shape existing efforts, tracking and measuring for the first time the return on the more than $100 million invested by the City each year to ensure resources are focused on best-in-class programs with the potential to scale. The Center will work in partnership with corporate and philanthropic funders on where and how private funds are being invested to maximize youth workforce efforts. The Mayor's Fund and the City's Office of Strategic Partnerships will also continue raising and directing funds to support the launch and/or expansion of programs that stand to generate the best outcomes for city youth.

Existing programs have also lacked capacity to serve young New Yorkers: the City’s annual Summer Youth Employment Program, the largest summer jobs initiative in the country, placed 47,000 young people in summer jobs in 2014 but was unable to serve nearly 90,000 additional applicants. Similarly, mentorship, skills building and internship opportunities for public school students supported by both public and private programs cover only a fraction of the city's young adults who could benefit from career support and encouragement.

The Center for Youth Employment will aim to substantially increase private sector participation by instituting reforms to make involvement more efficient, and offering increased support for employers throughout the process. In addition to cultivating direct employment opportunities, the Center will also strengthen partnerships between businesses and career and technical education (CTE) schools, and enhance professional development for educators to be more effective career counselors. David Fischer, a respected expert in the field and former Department of Education and Department of Small Business Services employee, has been appointed as Executive Director of the Center, which will employ three additional staff.

Early and meaningful exposure to career paths significantly increases the likelihood of a teen graduating from high school, improves future employment opportunities and increases earning potential, according to a recent report commissioned by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Summer jobs in particular have been shown to have a powerful positive impact on young adults, helping to decrease rates of incarceration in New York City, according to the findings published in the National Bureau of Labor Statistics from a Wharton School study.

“As Chair of Board of Advisors for the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, I am proud to support this initiative, which exemplifies the Fund’s objective to engage the private sector on behalf of vital public programs,” said Rob Speyer, co-CEO of Tishman Speyer. “Tishman Speyer is a longstanding participant in the City’s summer jobs program, and we applaud the Mayor for his work to create meaningful new workforce opportunities for the next generation of New York City leaders.”

“Summer employment opportunities are critical to helping young people develop the valuable workplace skills that companies seek,” said Michael Corbat, CEO of Citi. “Through Pathways to Progress – our three-year, $50 million program to jumpstart the career readiness of 100,000 youth – we are investing in young adults so they can find jobs and succeed in a 21st century economy. We have already reached 25,000 youth in ten of the nation’s largest cities, and we are proud to work with Mayor de Blasio and First Lady McCray to build upon these efforts and provide summer jobs, financial education, and entrepreneurship opportunities to even more young people across the five boroughs.”

“As an employer of nearly 17,000 people in New York City, Macy’s has a special interest in preparing the city’s youth for college and careers,” said Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s, Inc. Chairman and CEO. “In support of the Mayor’s efforts in establishing a new Center for Youth Employment, Macy’s is very proud to lead with The Partnership of New York City on this project to expand opportunities for internships, mentoring and training in the business community. With a focus on job training at career and technical schools, progressive initiatives such as this afford the city’s underprivileged youth greater access to developing professional skills. It is through the commitment of both public and private sectors toward a single vision of empowering the city’s youth with education and job skills, that we positively impact the economy and community.”

“Setting an ambitious goal to increase early work experience for NYC’s youth is a crucial first step to ensuring successful futures. The City’s summer internship program has a proven track record. The internships are transformational for these young people,” said Tony James, President and COO of Blackstone. “The City makes it simple, helping to find, train and select appropriate interns for each job. When it is so easy to make a real difference at a formative stage in young lives, I would hope the New York business community would universally rally around this program. Blackstone couldn’t be more enthusiastic.”

“Supporting more opportunities for summer jobs in New York City improves the long term prospects of thousands of young people, putting them and the city on a path for stability and growth,” said Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs. “We are pleased to continue our support for summer jobs under the Mayor’s leadership.”

“As employers of 1.5 million New Yorkers, our members have a huge stake in making sure that the city’s youth are well prepared for the jobs of the future. This new Center will be critical to streamlining private sector engagement with  the Career & Technical Education programs of the Department of Education, including expanded access to business mentors, internships and industry partnerships,” said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City.

“We at Arcus couldn’t be more excited to be part of the City’s initiative to create career development opportunities for young people who seldom have access to these kinds of opportunities. In alignment with our foundation’s priorities, we are particularly enthusiastic about the inclusive focus on serving out-of-home youth and those in foster care, so many of whom are LGBTQ-identified,” said Kevin Jennings, Executive Director of Arcus.

“There are few things as important to the growth and long-term sustainability of our city as supporting New York’s next generation of talent, and we are proud to join the Mayor, the First Lady and the city’s business community in launching this effort to greatly enhance and expand our city’s youth workforce supports” said Bill Rudin, Chairman of the Association for a Better New York. “Giving the youth of our city early workplace experiences, targeted skills training, and meaningful career and life coaching provides huge returns for our communities and for our young New Yorkers. We are proud to support this effort.”

“JPMorgan Chase has made a major $250 million global commitment to help people develop the skills they need to succeed in today’s economy. We are proud to continue to partner with the City of New York and invest in programs like this new initiative to connect young New Yorkers with critical skills training and work place experiences,” said Chauncy Lennon, Head of Workforce Initiatives for JPMorgan Chase.

“Pearson is proud to stand alongside Mayor de Blasio and First Lady McCray as a partner on this vital initiative,” said Bethlam Forsa, President of U.S. Learning Services at Pearson. “Employers today have a key role in helping graduates to build the new, higher order skills necessary to compete in today’s 21st Century global economy. Pearson’s commitment to New York City and to its youth makes this partnership a perfect match for us.”

“We’re excited to be part of the Center for Youth Employment and build on our long-standing commitment to New York,” said Ron Garrow, Chief Human Resources Officer at MasterCard. “Programs like this allow our employees to tap into their experience and mentor future leaders. The hands-on business and technology experience these students gain will give them a leg up in the future.”

“The power of education is at the heart of Guardian’s corporate social responsibility efforts and is a core component of how we connect our workforce to the communities we serve,” said Deanna Mulligan, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. “Guardian is pleased to join the Mayor and the Mayor’s Fund in launching this innovative public-private partnership which has the power to dramatically expand and enhance education and career opportunities for New York City youth through internships, mentorships and smart partnerships between employers and city schools.”

“It’s important for New York City businesses to invest in our next generation of leaders,” said Jeff Barker, New York President of Bank of America. “We’re proud to focus our educational support on the City’s CTE Summer Scholars program for the fourth straight year, providing students with valuable skills they need for 21st century jobs and we applaud the Administration’s efforts to bring greater attention and resources to these vitally important programs.”

“As the premier progressive financial institution in New York City, Amalgamated Bank is honored to be a part of this historic program to provide opportunities to the next generation. Investing in our young people, opening up career pathways, and broadening the future workforce is the key to a prosperous future for all New Yorkers,” said Keith Mestrich, President of Amalgamated Bank.

“National Grid is committed to creating educational opportunities for young people to develop skills to prepare for careers in business and energy. We have a long-standing commitment to the local community to engage students in STEM education. Our partnership with the City builds upon our past efforts to provide internships, mentors, site visits, and the creation of Energy Tech High School,” said Ken Daly, President of National Grid NY.

“L+M Development Partners recognizes that it’s vitally important to help New York City youth acquire the skills they need to succeed in the ever-changing labor market. For this reason, we are pleased to support the Center for Employment, which offers college and career readiness resources to the young people who need them most,” said Ron Moelis, CEO, L+M Development Partners.

“Today’s launch marks the first steps in building a powerful new approach to supporting our city’s youth in their personal and professional journeys,” said Darren Bloch, the Executive Director of the Mayor’s Fund. “We are grateful for the public and private partners that have already come together around this work and are committed to working with us to invest in best-in-class programs and bold new policies that we know will make a real and immediate difference in the lives of young New Yorkers and in the long-term strengthening of our city’s diverse neighborhoods.

“The Center for Youth Employment is committed to helping every young New Yorker build their skills, gain valuable experience and make a successful transition into the world of work,” said David Fischer, Executive Director of the Center for Youth Employment. “With support from our partners in industry, philanthropy and government, we can provide countless new opportunities for our city’s young adults to define and fulfill their career ambitions – to go as far as their talents will take them.”

“The strategy of Career Pathways calls for income mobility for all New Yorkers, and for youth, exposure, support and on-ramps to careers are key,” said Katy Gaul-Stigge, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development. “The Center for Youth employment will build strong ties through partnerships to make a stronger home-grown workforce.”

“Jobs and internships for young people not only help launch careers, but as recent studies have shown, boost school attendance and test scores, reduce incarceration rates – and even save lives,” said Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong. “Through the Summer Youth Employment Program, Ladders for Leaders and other City-funded programs, teens and young adults have been exposed to everything from crime scene forensics to computer coding to advertising. The Center for Youth Employment will further coordinate our efforts to connect youth to the opportunities of today and careers of tomorrow.”

“We commend the de Blasio Administration for leveraging the tremendous resources of New York City to invest in the education, training and employment of the next generation of its workforce. Good Shepherd Services looks forward to working in partnership with the City to design and run state-of-art, sector-based training and apprenticeship programs for young people that lead to sustainable entry-level employment in growth industries,” said Sister Paulette LoMonaco, Executive Director of Good Shepherd Services.

“Our work and research tells us that every teen needs employment experience. It not only provides income, it shapes their college and career choices and leads to new opportunities. We know it requires great coordination to cultivate the necessary partnerships, and we applaud this bold step that will benefit New York City’s kids,” said Lucy Friedman, President of The After-School Corporation.

“A coordinated, systemic approach to addressing the needs of our most vulnerable young adults, especially in the context of their labor market prospects, is critical for the city's economic future. We look forward to partnering with the Center for Youth Employment, given our experience with demand-led strategies and our ability to bring employers to the heart of the design process for effective young adult workforce strategies and solutions. In working together, I expect and believe we can accomplish much to improve circumstances for all young New Yorkers," said Lou Miceli, Executive Director of JobsFirstNYC.

“I applaud Mayor de Blasio and First Lady McCray for their commitment to bringing the public and private sectors together to create career opportunities for our future workforce,” said David Weiner, President of PENCIL. “Too many of our country’s high school students are not given the opportunity to receive real-world work experience and can be left unprepared for college and their future careers. PENCIL looks forward to collaborating with the Center for Youth Employment to ensure all young New Yorkers have equal access to internships, jobs, and career training opportunities that are crucial for their success.”

“Increasing the number of youth who have access to high-quality opportunities that enable them to hone their skills, utilize their assets, and make meaningful contributions to NYC’s economy with the support of a caring adult is at the core of youth development. I commend the Mayor and the First Lady for efforts that will undoubtedly transform the lives of many,” said Sandra Escamilla, Executive Director of the Youth Development Institute.

“The Center for Youth Employment will not only improve the lives of thousands of young New Yorkers, but it will help strengthen our city’s economy for generations to come. It is crucial that young people take a strong first step on their career paths, and the Center will go a long way towards assisting them on that journey and increasing their chances of success. Congratulations to Mayor Bill de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray and all their partners in this wonderful initiative, and we look forward to partnering with them to enhance the futures of young adults across the five boroughs,” said the 5 Boro Chamber Alliance.

“The Center for Youth Employment formidably tackles one of the most troubling obstacles to independence for young people in the foster care system – lack of access to a meaningful career path. We applaud the de Blasio Administration’s commitment to our city’s youth,” said Bethany A. Lampland, Chief Operating Officer of The New York Foundling.

“Too many young people want to get ahead, but don't know where to start,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “This program will connect our youth to the resources they need to be successful in their careers.”

“When it’s done right, connecting our city’s youth with jobs and mentors can put money in their pockets today and equip them with skills, experiences, and connections that will give them a leg up tomorrow,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “The Great Recession decimated traditional youth employment opportunities. I applaud the sponsors of this new program for acting to restore and expand jobs and career opportunities for our city’s young people.”

“The creation of the Center for Youth Employment will make an enormously positive difference in the lives of tens of thousands of New York City youth who are seeking jobs and internships that will lead to well-paying and stable employment when they reach adulthood. I commend Mayor de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray for their commitment and dedication to our young people and having a vision that will lead to a bright future for current and future generations of New Yorkers. The launching of this exciting new initiative that will benefit so many of our youth exemplifies how positive things can be achieved when the public and private sectors partner to bring about positive changes for our great city,” said Council Member Mathieu Eugene, Chair of the Committee on Youth Services.

The Center for Youth Employment will be overseen by the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development and the Mayor’s Fund, under the umbrella of the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships, which coordinates public-private partnerships across the city to deliver on the Administration’s agenda to combat inequality.

For more information about the Center for Youth Employment or how to get involved at an internship site, please visit

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