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Going Beyond the Bottom Line: Employer Perspectives on the Young Adult Workforce Development System in New York City

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.

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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.


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