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Place-Based Initiative: Bedford-Stuyvesant

On Tuesday, April 18th JobsFirstNYC partnered with Council Member Robert Cornegy’s office to hold a town hall meeting for workforce providers and stakeholders focused on District 36, comprised of Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn exploring workforce and career options for out-of-school, out-of-work young adults in the District. JobsFirstNYC found that Bedford-Stuyvesant continues to be one of the 18 communities in NYC with the highest concentration of out-of-work, out-of-school young adults. First identified in our 2013 publication, Barriers to Entry, and again in our 2017 our briefing, “Declines in New York City’s Out-of-School, Out-of-Work Young Adult Population…But Numbers Remain High“, the community now ranks as number two on the list. Although Bedford-Stuyvesant has experienced overall economic improvements, these numbers remain stubbornly high and an intervention is necessary to ensure the young people of the district benefit from the development it is undergoing.

This town hall, the first of a number planned for 2017, featured presentations by Council Member Cornegy; Stefani Zinerman, the Council Member’s Chief of Staff; the JobsFirstNYC team; Lazar Treschan, Director of Youth Policy at the Community Service Society, and a panel featuring Oma Holloway, Director of Community Engagement for MYBASE at Bridge Street Development Corporation and Chair of the Education and Youth Services Committee for Brooklyn Community Board 3; Doriga Alves, Vice President of Career Management for the Transportation Diversity Council; and Roger Green, Professor, Medgar Evers College and Coalition to Transform Interfaith Medical Center.

JobsFirstNYC’s Place-Based Initiatives focus on creating access to economic opportunities through the development of collaborative, local-level partnerships between community-based organizations, educational institutions, businesses, government, and other stakeholders to improve connections to jobs, strengthen local relationships, align community improvement strategies, and leverage resources across all systems to improve the lives of young adults who are out of school and out of work.

Over the last ten years, JobsFirstNYC has partnered with local communities to develop and sustain several place-based partnerships, including employer-facing networks to improve the way workforce organizations engage with and provide services to employers and college access networks to increase college enrollment and completion. One of the earliest examples of this strategy is best represented through the Lower East Side Employment Network, but others also include Youth WINS in Staten Island and the myriad of sector-based partnerships presently operating through the Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project. In the Bronx, we have been working to improve college completion rates for young people through the Bronx Opportunity Network.

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