For this report, JobsFirstNYC identified an as-yet-unexploited opportunity: to develop new and creative ways to engage employers by better meeting their hiring needs. Recognizing that workforce providers, researchers, and funders lacked a clear and comprehensive understanding of those needs, and of how employers view young adult workers, JobsFirstNYC commissioned Public Works Consulting to conduct research to obtain a better grasp on employers’ hiring needs, to understand employers’ current attitudes toward young adult workers, and to recommend specific approaches for most effectively filling hiring needs now and over time.
Public Works solicited feedback from over 95 employers through focus groups, individual interviews, and online surveys between November 2011 and January 2012. These employers represent a mix of business sizes across nine sectors relevant to young adult employment. The summary of responses includes employer perspectives on:
- Strengths and Challenges of Young Adults in the Workplace,
- Managing Young Adults in the Workplace,
- Using the Workforce System to Meet Hiring Needs,
- Providers’ Preparation and Support Services for Young Adult Workers,
- and, Helping Providers Better Serve Employer Needs.
Based on employer perspectives and findings, JobsFirstNYC makes a series of recommendations for providers who work with young adults as well and for how funders and intermediary organizations can better support this work.