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Event - December 2002

Summit on the Future of Workforce Development in New York City

Speeches, panel discussion and group recommendations from the New York Workforce Summit, presented by the Center for an Urban Future, Workforce Strategy Center, and New York City Workforce Development Funders Group

Tags: economic opportunity workforce development

PART ONE: Framing comments presented by Gary Hattem, Deutsche Bank; Neil Kleiman, Center for an Urban Future; John Colborn, Ford Foundation; Ester Fuchs, Office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Boston Mayor, Thomas Menino

Gary Hattem, Deutsche Bank:
Welcome everyone. My name is Gary Hattem and I’m President of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and you are at 60 Wall Street, which just last week we announced as our new U.S. corporate headquarters. We’ll be moving 4,500 people from midtown Manhattan down to lower Manhattan as part of our contribution to the revitalization of our lower Manhattan community.

I want to thank all of you for coming. We have a very simple task ahead of us today, which is really to reinvent New York City’s workforce development system. I know many of you put a lot of hard work into that issue and today is a culmination of that effort to bring together many diverse sectors to really make sense of it all and to go forward.

There is probably no issue more important to New York City right now than an effective workforce development system aligning our labor force with our changing economy. This is not only important for the people who live here, but it is important for New York overall, moving into the next century.

This is a time of very constrained resources, which all of us are very aware of. Having lived through times of constrained resources, it’s often at these periods where the best ideas come forward, and it requires all of us to connect with one another in ways that we hadn’t before. We can’t just look to ourselves to find solutions. This issue, I think, is really one that requires everybody coming together. New York City lags behind the country in terms of effective workforce development efforts and we shouldn’t. We have the best universities here; the most dynamic non-for-profit sector. We have an economy that is reasonably diverse and resilient. We’ve got a very progressive philanthropic community which I think on this issue has really proven itself. And we’ve got a City Hall now that really wants to do something. So now is our time to strike.

So with that said, I think all of us here today are willing to bring to the people of New York the opportunity for good work at decent pay that’s fulfilling, that challenges people and helps all of us go forward as a city to provide for people.

So with that, Neil Kleiman is going to be our quarterback from the Center for an Urban Future. We’re big fans of the Center for an Urban Future for going about reshaping the City’s policies on a number of fronts in a very quiet but highly effective way. So, my pleasure….Neil.

Neil Kleiman, Center for an Urban Future:
Today is a first for New York City. Today we have the key principles in the city’s workforce system, a number of standout providers, and the many members of the New York City Workforce Development Funders Group together to discuss, re-think, and plan new initiatives for job training and education programs in New York.

Today is billed as a summit, which clearly it is, but we also want to think of it as a working meeting; moving with each discussion towards recommendations for improved workforce system in the city.

We will begin with some framing points from John Colborn of the Ford Foundation and Ester Fuchs from the mayor’s office. We are honored to have Mayor Thomas Menino in from Boston to provide both perspective and lessons from a city that is one of the nation’s most innovative places for workforce development.

Next, we will move to a panel with the city’s workforce chiefs from the Department of Employment, the Department of Youth and Community development and the City University of New York.

Then the real work will begin with you in breakout—or I would say brainstorm—sessions to focus squarely on how the business, philanthropic, nonprofit, education and union sectors can really work together to build a true workforce system in New York.

If there is a theme today it is partnerships. This notion of partnership is crucial.

You simply cannot build a workforce development system in isolation. The good news is we have a wealth of resources in New York. We have over 70 nonprofit providers, the greatest number of union-oriented training programs in the country, over a dozen private universities and 17 undergraduate and three graduate institutions at the City University of New York, and one of the most diverse, and I would say active philanthropic communities in the country.


John Colborn, Ford Foundation:

It is such a pleasure to be here finally. I can’t even remember when we first started this conversation – I think it was a hallway in Chicago with Julian when we really started thinking through what might be some possibilities here. It’s obviously quite a thrill for me to see the realization of that today.

Thanks to Deutsche Bank for putting up this beautiful space. I’ve never been here before; I’m going to have to think of more excuses to come here. This is great. And of course to the Center for an Urban Future for all their hard work to pull this off.

I’m just going to say--just briefly--a couple of reasons why I think the philanthropic community is so well-poised to look at initiatives like this and to rethink the way workforce development systems operate for the advantage of low-income people.

I want to take us back, if I can, just about eight years or so ago when the national evaluation of the Job Training Partnership Act was released. Those of you who aren’t familiar with that, that’s great. It’s taken about eight years to start to forget about it. But those who do remember it know that this was an evaluation that really showed very limited impact of all the federal funding that went into workforce development. In fact, most distressingly for some populations that were served by JTPA, we actually saw some negative impact of the results of workforce services. I think that evaluation, in a sense that ‘nothing works’ really has shaped workforce development for three or four years that followed that. It drove a lot of philanthropy back down to brass tacks. How can we find programs that actually can serve people and serve them well, leading to increased economic opportunity and increased earnings, wages for low-income people?

So what did private philanthropy do? It does what it does best. It became the research and development capital for some of the best practices of workforce development systems. I think to our credit, and even more to the credit of our grantees, we’ve begun to learn a lot. We learned, for example, that industry targeted or sectoral workforce development strategies, strategies that embed themselves deeply within the industry, that identify key leadership within industry as partners, that tailor training and support services to the needs of the industry--that these kinds of strategies actually have tremendous impact, not only on the low-income people that are targeted by these programs but also on the workforce and competitive needs of the industry partners that they work with.

We’ve learned that community colleges can be tremendous partners in the workforce development enterprise. Combining remedial vocational and academic services, we’re able to achieve significant outcomes for low-income people. Not only initially at the end of the programs, when people are getting jobs, but more significantly giving folks the foundation, the basic from which, to advance in the workforce.

I think we’ve learned something--some of us not so willingly--from the welfare reform experiment of the last few years. We’ve learned that there is actually some value to the kind of rapid labor force attachment programs that have come out of welfare reform. That, in fact, by vocationalizing social services, you can get folks into the labor force quickly. I think what we have to learn from there is how to help people from that initial job to economic self-sufficiency.

But nevertheless I think what we find from all this experimenting that’s gone on in the last few years is that, well, maybe some things do work. I think the critique that has to come to philanthropy at this stage in the game is that most of what we’ve investing in has ended up being very small, very boutique, high quality but not particularly systemic programs.

So for us, then, the challenge now is how to take what we’ve learned from these very small, very boutique little program and figure out how to take those learnings and apply them to larger systems. For us then that means working with a new set of partners. We’ve gotten very comfortable working with our nonprofit partner grantees. But increasingly, I think, we’re now being driven to think about how to engage with employers, with labor unions, with the public sector. I think this session today is an example of the philanthropic community really reaching out to those constituencies, and asking the hard questions about what workforce development systems need in order to take the lessons that we’ve learned over the past few years to some kind of scale.

Well, I started on a very pessimistic note. “Nothing works.” But I want to leave with an optimistic note. So first off, I think we have some good models we can work with. All of us in the room who are funders know of really outstanding and stellar grantees that are doing fantastic work and offering learning for practitioners broadly into workforce development systems.

Not withstanding your welcoming comments, actually for a public system, we have significant resources. If you add up all the resources that go into workforce development across all the different programs across the city and across the state, it’s not a small sum of money that we’re talking about here. I think in a year of constrained resources, then the question is how do we take every dollar and get the most from it. I think that would be a very fruitful conversation to have today.

Third, I think we have demographics working for us. We know that industry needs a more skilled workforce. We know that the growth of the workforce is tapering off. We know that notwithstanding Friday’s unemployment numbers that, in fact, the long-term prospects are for labor shortages in the United States. That’s really going to demand that industry, labor unions, community groups, we as citizens think very long and hard about how to get the most out of every worker in this country.

Finally, and I think this meeting is really testament to this, there is a sense of possibility out there. The combination of good models, good demographics, and frankly, the need to address the issues that face New York in a post-9/11 environment, and this country in the midst of a recession, really suggests that we can do something. We can make a difference.

So thanks to everyone for coming today. I’m looking forward to a very productive morning. Thanks.


Ester Fuchs, Office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg:

Thank you so much Neil for that very, very gracious introduction. I have an opportunity now that I know very few people in my position get and I’m really grateful for the support that I’ve received from the research and foundation community throughout the City and really helping to keep my direction straight, and my role in City government as productive as it can be. And in an administration that has decided to be something different than politics as usual. It’s unfortunate that we had to take office during a fiscal emergency, during a fiscal crisis, during a time when the budget is contracting, but I think even within that context there is extraordinary opportunity.

I wanted to just recognize for a moment and thank Deutsche Bank, Gary Hattem, and Michael Hickey, both of whom I’ve worked with in the past for hosting the conference today. And John Colborn from the Ford Foundation, and particularly for the New York Workforce Development Funders Group who I think have been critical in making sure that this issue stays on the political agenda and continues to be part of our collective human service policy, both in the city and in the nation. I’m looking forward to staying for a bit and hearing Mayor Menino. It’s just a pleasure to be here with him. I want to recognize other members of our administration who are here today: Commissioner Wu, from the Department of Employment. Commissioner Mullgrav. Of course some members from CUNY, Chancellor Goldstein has agreed to participate. That actually indicates to me that this conference will be a success: when you can bring people to the table from those diverse communities and have them talking to each other, I think you have a foregone conclusion that the outcomes of this conference will be something that we can really work with, something that is not just put away in a closet to gather dust for people to use in their PhD theses down the road.

I think we need and this administration thinks we need an effective workforce development policy. The data indicates despite the fact that we are in a recession now that there will be a net gain of 15 million new jobs nationwide, which will require some post-secondary education. We expect only three million adults will have these credentials. That indicates clearly to me and I know to you as well that traditional education really doesn’t provide the workforce with the kinds of skills that they ultimately need to work in this new economy.   Especially acute and problematic are the needs of the TANF recipient population and the welfare population, half the case load has not graduated from high school, so while we have a federal that requires work at the same time, those of us who pay attention to this and who participate in these programs on the ground, understand that it is critical to tie education and job training into the goals of welfare reform. You simply cannot create an effective TANF workforce without bringing individuals on TANF the skills that they need to get jobs which will not just give them employment and keep them in poverty, but will provide them jobs which will ultimately take them out of poverty and create self-sufficiency.

Self-sufficiency is one of those over-used terms. In this context, we really mean self-sufficiency. We do not simply mean a job that continues to perpetuate poverty. I think one of the biggest problems of welfare reform was not recognizing the need not just to get people off of welfare but to get them into jobs that allowed them to support their families at a wage that you could live on, to put it perfectly bluntly.

The city right now has an unemployment rate of 7.9 percent. It is estimated that we lost between 57,000 and 83,000 jobs from 9/11 directly and we expect to continue losing jobs. I bring up this unemployment rate in the context of the federal program right now, which should be supporting this population with unemployment insurance. However, by December 28, if something doesn’t change in Washington very soon we will find ourselves with this population running out of its unemployment benefits. They will need basically the benefits from the Workforce Investment Act Program. They will need the support of the job training programs that we have in place now. There is simply not enough dollars to really provide services for the population of displaced workers, of unemployed workers, let alone of TANF workers--new workers--to get them the skills that need to get into this workforce. So we have a real opportunity on the one hand. But we also have a very serious problem that we’re confronting on the other hand.

Everyone understands TANF is a five year limited program the same way the WIA program is not an entitlement. We get a block grant and when we finish spending, it’s over. I think that there is sort of a disconnect often in the effort to create programs and the realities of how these funding streams actually work. In New York, we have Safety Net (obviously most states don’t have Safety Net) for those welfare recipients who hit up against their five-year limit. There is opportunity within Safety Net to continue to do job training and education. That has to be part of the state agenda as well. So we in New York City of course are drastically limited in what we can do by the laws of the state and the federal government. It is incumbent upon all of us in this community who care about these issues to focus at that level of government as well.

I put that in context and I say that the opportunity is not just the challenge is here confronting us today. The Mayor is committed and this administration is committed to creating an effective workforce development strategy. We’re doing it in several ways right now. I don’t want to go into too much detail because I think the commissioners will do that. But in terms of an overview…

The kinds of programs that we’re putting in place now are programs that, I think, are diverse. I understand when we talk about boutique programs and taking them up to scale but part of that conversation makes me a little nervous because I really do believe--and many of the providers out here will echo this--there is not a one-size-fits-all workforce development strategy. So while a program may work for a particular population, it will not work for another population. So I think what we’re trying to put into place… In fact internally in the City this is a collaboration of several agencies, as you’ve seen from the program…DOE, HRA, DYCD and SBA, and of course CUNY as key players in the development of this strategy. But the idea is to create a multi-faceted program which will respond to the needs of the diversity in New York City’s population.

Primarily we have to create a strategy that identifies the business community’s needs. The sector analysis approach which was mentioned before is key to making workforce development work. I heard Ann Richards, the former Governor of Texas, speak about this. She was really one of the first governors to take this approach to workforce development. There is just no question that if you can do job training in conjunction with an employer that guarantees jobs at the end of the training, every study demonstrates that you have better chance of both keeping your workers in the training program and getting them employed in sustainable jobs over time. Of course that is the objective. The objective is not simply to place people in jobs for three months and then have them turn over. The idea is to get people into jobs which sustain them for at least a reasonable period of time – you’d like to see three years but I’d take two years. In some of the milestone studies that I’ve looked at, nine months is considered a terrific outcome from workforce training programs. While I don’t want to be critical of that, it seems to me that from a sustainability point of view, that is just not enough. The sector approach makes sense but it is a limited approach.

There is only a certain number of employers that will step up to the plate and work with government and with the providers and with the foundations to create special programs which identify needs in their businesses. We are working to identify those. I know Commissioner Wu will be speaking more about that aspect of her program. We’re also looking to provide employment services. Just straight employment services for New Yorkers who are unemployed, underemployed, on TANF, youth, disabled workers, ex-offenders and drug addicts. We have some special populations contracts which target the particular needs of these populations. We are particularly working on developing our youth program. Both Commissioner Mullgrav and Commissioner Wu will be speaking to that aspect of the program and specifically also on a population that has been ignored for a long time: foster care kids coming out of foster care who have pretty much nothing. They usually don’t even have a high school diploma, let alone a job prospect when they come out. This is a population which has a particular need which has fallen through the cracks.

Our keystone right now within the workforce investment system is expanding our one-stops, and that is Commissioner Wu’s homework and she will be discussing that more. That is mandated with the WIA program and while we’ve been dealing with them in another context, DOE has been given the prime obligation now to expand our one-stop system, create a system of satellites around one subsystem in every borough so that we can provide core and intensive services to job seekers and provide an opportunity for business to hook up directly with those looking for employment. Again, the Commissioner will speak more about that. It’s very important that New York expand this system. We’ve been slow on that and we are catching up right now.

The other key piece of our workforce development program is really in the Department of Human Resources, the Human Resources Agency, and relates to the TANF recipients as the key part of the Mayor’s recommendation for reauthorization of TANF, we are on record as supporting education and training as part of the TANF package. While we continue to support the need to bring TANF recipients directly into the labor market with labor market experience, we believe that a combination that includes for many TANF recipients education and training is a much more effective way of keeping them in the labor market. It turns out that you can place people. You can place people in jobs. The issue of course is, will they keep these jobs? Is there enough support particularly for TANF recipients--and I know I’m preaching to the choir here--for them to stay in those jobs. That part of it is not brain surgery.

We need have effective system in place and we need to have excellent providers, which I know many of you are in this room today. But not all providers are excellent providers. The City needs to engage in much more direct oversight and evaluation of those provider contracts. This is a system which is essentially contracted out. There are no City workers doing this; it is a contracted-out system. It’s the obligation of the City to provide the oversight and the evaluation of these contractors so that we can really build that effective system. I personally believe that that is part of the problem. Part of the problem is that often contractors receive grants over and over again, because they have in the past. It’s a way maybe previous administrations chose to operate; it’s not the way we choose to operate.

And finally, we are working extensively on streamlining the administration of these contracts. This is a difficult process because we know contractors have to be paid. They often working on a very small margin and when you have milestones in a contract and when you expect performance before contractors are paid--I know the foundation community has really stepped up in here to offer a buffer for a lot of contractors which are working on a shoe string – but it’s critical to keep the milestone process in the contracting process so at least we have some capacity to evaluate how effective contractors are in keeping people in the workforce. So it’s not just placing people, it is keeping them in the workforce in jobs that will sustain individuals over time and will provide a match for the business community so that we’re not training people for jobs that we know will exist in our city over the next three years.

Finally, I just want to say that we are working hard in the context of the one-stops and the WIA program to use what is called the ITA vouchers in an effective way to match dislocated workers with the kind of training that they choose. The other piece of the workforce development strategy which I believe is very effective, and part of the mandate of WIA is that displaced and unemployed workers actually get to choose the kind of training that they think will work for them in consultation with a case worker. While we often think that we can better advise people on what they should be doing, every study shows that if somebody chooses the program themselves, they are much more likely to stay in it and do well in it than if it is hoisted upon them by somebody who says, ‘This will be good for you.’ So again, not rocket science but something that we haven’t really been doing that effectively. We’re working with a series of voucher providers. It’s a long list of institutions that are eligible for vouchers, not all of which are as effective. I’m a particular fan of the CUNY community college programs in the voucher system. They’ve had tremendous success and we’re expecting to create more collaborations along those lines.

I just want to conclude by saying that Neil is really right: this meeting and this policy arena requires partnership. I won’t say that it requires more than any other policy arena, but in some ways it does. It’s about partnering with business, community-based organizations, the City University system, and foundations which have been critical in filling in the gaps, I think, and also setting the agenda with doing the kinds of evaluations that often government does want to pay for so that we can know what works out there. This is a very complex partnership. My final pitch is that government needs to be a part of this partnership. If programs are developed by community-based organizations in conjunction with foundations and government is not part of the partnership, it is very difficult to sustain those programs over time. Some community-based organizations can do this but we need you. We need to know from you what works out there.

Not everything can be brought up to scale, and it probably shouldn’t be brought up to scale, but that doesn’t mean that government can be left out of the conversation about what’s being funded, what works, and what doesn’t. Moreover, I think government brings significant resources to the table right now and we need the community to make sure that we don’t lose these resources in the next budget. It’s a problem that we’re going to have to face as a city and make sure the workforce development program continues to be funded at its current level and hopefully at a greater level.

So I’m here representing the administration to congratulate you for convening this conference and to really commit us to working with you to really build up a workforce development system that is as good as the one as they have in Boston.


PART TWO: Remarks of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino
President, the United States Conference of Mayors

I want to thank the three sponsors of today's forum for inviting me to New York City to talk about workforce development. I'm particularly pleased to see the level of interest in this subject from the foundation community here. There is no better investment you can make in people than in helping families climb the ladder to economic success.

The best events I do are those when a family breadwinner graduates from any educational or training program because they are on the road to becoming part of the great American workforce, and their lives are going to change for the better.
       
I'm glad I was able to make a quick trip to your great city. New York, like so many cities, is facing tough fiscal times and hard decisions need to be made every day. Mayor Bloomberg deserves your support as he works to resolve problems that are not of his making.

All around the country, states and cities are facing deficits and cutbacks as a result of our national recession. Business Week estimated that these deficits together could hit $80 billion. And as these governments cut back, it further slows the level of economic activity as people lose their jobs, cut their own spending and draw down unemployment and other benefits.

Now, let me talk to you about today's topic--workforce development. I'm honored that you would ask me to speak on this topic because, as I said in the beginning, there are no events I do that give me more satisfaction than those in which people are climbing the economic ladder.

On a national level, we should look at workforce development as critical to our nation's future, but we are cutting rather than investing.

The skills shortage is putting the US at risk in two very fundamental and serious ways--Economic and National security:

  • We are falling behind other industrialized nations with whom we compete in the global marketplace, in the educational and skill level of our workforce. The US ranks 10th in adult literacy among the 17 highest income countries.
  • We trail three other nations in the percentage of our population graduating from college, and many nations are expected to overtake us in the next few years.
  • 42 percent of projected job growth in the next 10 years will require some level of college credential, or certification of specific technological skills.
  • The salary gap between those with a college education and those without grew from 50 percent in 1980 to 100 percent today.
  • It is estimated that 75 percent of all US workers will need to be retrained to retain their jobs, yet business investment in training fell 18% between 1988 and 1997.
  • How do we in the United States remain an economic powerhouse if we are not investing in ALL our people? We cannot afford to leave any individuals behind, the demographics of who will be American workers is changing everyday, and we need everyone to contribute to the common wealth.
  • In the next ten years, 41 million people will enter the US workforce; but 46 million college-educated baby boomers will retire in the next twenty years. Today, 13 percent of the workforce is 55 or older, by 2020, it will be 20 percent.
  • US workers will be very diverse racially and ethically, especially in American cities. In the next seven years people of color will be 35 percent of the workforce across the nation, up from 27 percent today. And by 2050, the workforce will be nearly at a 50/50 balance of Caucasians and individuals of color.
  • And we are shortchanging young people as they look to enter the market--summer youth employment rates in 2002 were the lowest in 37 years!

If we are not supporting, educating, and training a diverse, literate, and technologically sophisticated workforce, we are going to lose out to other nations willing and able to invest in their people. We will all rise or fall together economically.

Which brings me to national security. Today, we are struggling to fill many of the security positions at our airports, even with many individuals on unemployment and looking for work. Why? Because we simply don’t have enough people with the education and skill level to fill these jobs. This is a symptom. It should be an alarm bell to everyone. I've suggested we retrain people laid off by the airlines; it's a win win proposition for everyone.

As a nation we have learned, and no Americans know it better than New Yorkers, national security workers are not just our men and women at sea and in khaki. They are police, firefighters, and computer analysts tracking suspicious financial deals. We need smart, able and well-trained workers in many fields to ensure our safety here at home.

At the local level, I see workforce development as a mindset, not a program. It is part of so much that we do in government:

It's educating our young people;
It's helping our newest citizens integrate into our economy, and;
It's upgrading the skills of incumbent workers.
And it involves everyone--from the private sector to the unions to state government and our county corrections system. Let me take a few minutes to highlight some of our initiatives in Boston.

First and foremost, we would not be where we are today without the strong support of the Boston business community. Cathy Minihan, who is the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, heads the Boston Private Industry Council, which serves as our local workforce investment board.

Cathy is a strong and active chair who asks the tough questions, recruits the best people to head its project committees, and has built bridges all across the city. When Cathy calls, people respond.

I'm always pushing the PIC to do more, and they always do! From summer jobs to school to work programs to career counseling in our schools, they have been there.

At the city level, we have our Office of Jobs and Community Services, which is headed by Conny Doty, who is here with me today. Conny not only oversees our federal and state job training funds, but also the monies generated by our linkage fee on developers, which goes into a Neighborhood Jobs Trust. The Jobs Trust is a flexible source of funding that is important to have when federal and state programs just don't fit.

If a city doesn't have a linkage program, it may be something that the foundations and businesses of the city can fund. It's well worth the investment.

I should tell you that Jobs and Community Services is located within our economic development agency, the Boston Redevelopment Authority. I believe that if we do not link job training with economic development, we will fail in our mission.

Companies will not locate or expand in your city unless you can guarantee them an educated and skilled workforce. In the end, it is more important than tax breaks, or any other incentive package a city offers.

Let me also note that Conny [Doty] is wrapping up her two-year term as Chair of the national Workforce Development Council of the United States Conference of Mayors, and Betty Wu, your Employment Commissioner is on the Board of Directors as well. I do want to ask Conny why she gets a two-year term, while my term as head of the mayors is only one year!

Now, six years ago, the PIC began the process of opening three One Stop Career Centers in our city with the following philosophies:

Employers are just as important customers as job seekers;

Customer service would be the number one criteria for judging performance, and;

Universal service was critical to success--think of the public library model rather than the welfare office.
The Centers were set up on a competitive basis; the City operates one of them, the Workplace, in partnership with Jewish Vocational Services. And any time I stop by there, the place is bustling with people.

Just last year, the Centers served 17,000 people and 2,000 businesses, a major jump from the year before. We have made our One Stops the hub of all our workforce activities. That is why, even when the Federal government made major changes in how to distribute training dollars, Boston was able to spend all of its Workforce Investment Act money, even in the first year.

The One Stops distribute training vouchers, refer and counsel interested citizens about every available training program, including, how to apply for Pell Grants to continue their higher education.

We see the One Stop Career Centers as a place for you to manage your career over your entire work life, not just during the crisis of unemployment. Because of this creative approach, we have developed new programs for special populations.

For example, The Workplace has a full-time staff person located within the walls of our House of Correction, providing a full range of services to individuals who are coming out of incarceration. They have even run job fairs inside the jail, and employers offered some jobs right on the spot so the individual can go to work the day after they are released. We still have a way to go in this area, but every person we can set on the right path is one fewer issue in our neighborhoods.

In addition to the three main Career Centers, I've created two Resource Centers, which are satellite offices, in the neighborhoods of South Boston and Roxbury, which target additional placement and training services in those communities where they are most needed. We also are fortunate to have resources available to us through our empowerment zone designation and through the Youth Opportunity program--a five-year, $24 million federal grant that provides a range of services to over 2,000 at risk young people.

So I've outlined to you some of the resources we have at hand and the agencies we have in place, but without a solid delivery system that works with all sectors of our economy, none of this would work. Let me give you a few examples of the partnerships we've created:

In Boston, as in New York, we have a diversified economy, so that when one sector lags, others are still moving forward. The health care sector in Boston, for example, has a constant need for skilled staff. We have worked with the hospitals to develop and support training programs that lead to real jobs.

One of these efforts, Project Rise, began as a federally funded welfare to work program. When the federal monies ran out, the CEO of Partners Health Care, Tom Glynn, picked up the $300,000 cost. We also have a partnership in the health care field through which two local community development corporations, in neighborhoods adjacent to the Longwood Medical Area, identify residents for positions, and through ongoing training, help them move up the career ladder.

I spoke earlier about how this past summer was the worst in 37 years in terms of summer jobs for young people. In Boston, we see summer employment as essential to keeping kids out of trouble, giving them important work experience and job readiness skills, and putting a few extra dollars in family pockets. We survey the kids every year and sure, they spend money on clothes and records, most of it locally, but they also save money for college and help their families with the rent and expenses. It is one of the best investments we make in government.

I would like to see more young urban men and women have access to the good jobs within the building trades. Many of the kids in our city don't even know someone who is a carpenter, a plumber, electrician or bricklayer. In the Boston region, our skilled trades' workers more and more come from the suburbs and even out of state. So, this summer, we started a terrific new program with some of the building trades based on an "earn and learn" model. We paid the stipend and the unions provided both a survey of the trades and math and literacy academic support.

Like New York, we are a city of immigrants, and the numbers of new citizens grows every day. We have focused a number of our efforts on new Bostonians, as I call them. When a mid-sized manufacturing plant closed last year, leaving 350 mostly-Mandarin speaking workers unemployed, we joined forces with our state partners, at the Commonwealth Corporation, got a national emergency grant, and today, over 250 of those workers are in intensive English language for employment classes.

I asked our Jobs Trust to put up $250,000 to get a major expansion in the number of ESOL classes offered in Boston, and that initial funding leveraged more dollars so that today, we have $1 million in funds and in-kind services.

I also want to talk briefly about our technology programs for young people and families. We have two programs--Technology Goes Home and Tech Boston, that I believe are great national models of success. Technology Goes Home began when the CEO of a computer company, Echo Tsai, donated 1,000 computers for low-income families, along with training. We have local non-profits identify families who receive 8 weeks of training together, and then they get the computer. Anyone who has been to one of their graduations cannot help but be moved. And more importantly, people who have participated in the program have been able to secure better jobs. It's a great example of welfare reform that works!

Tech Boston started out as an effort to fill the growing needs of the high tech sector in the Boston area. There are actually many jobs in this industry that don't require a college degree--running a help desk and other support functions that pay about $14-16 an hour.

We began by partnering with companies such as Cisco and Microsoft, who have certified technician programs, and now, with the support of the Gates Foundation nationally and the Boston Foundation locally, we have a Tech Boston High School to serve as a focal point of these efforts.

So as you can see, so much of what we do in Boston does serve to give people a better shot at the American Dream. Like all cities, you can look at the glass as half empty or half filled. On one hand, we have many students struggling to pass a standardized test for graduation; on the other hand, we have one of the highest rates in the country of students who go on to college. On one hand, we face short-term fiscal problems. On the other, we are the economic engines that help drive the national economy forward, even in tough times.

All of this creates a convergence of need and opportunity in our cities, which is why the job of mayor is the best and most challenging job in America. We get to shake the hands of ESL graduates, whose children and families look on with pride. We make the deals that bring in new jobs and sometimes, we scramble to find jobs when a company leaves town.

We beam with pride when the graduate of a culinary program for formerly homeless individuals comes up to you in a restaurant that hired them and says thanks. Then we go back into the cold night and wonder how many more people like that need our help.

I hope I've been helpful to you today. I invite you to come up to Boston and see what we are doing. I don't have any Red Sox--Yankees tickets, but there are many other great attractions in our city.

More importantly, I ask all of you to work together to continue to raise the issues of workforce development and economic opportunity, particularly in our nation's capital. We need to hold Washington's feet to the fire not only to provide sufficient resources, but also to keep them flowing to the local level, where they can best be put to use.

Some of you represent the leading foundations in the country--I want to offer you a partnership with our nation's mayors to focus attention on our common agenda. During my term as President of the mayors' conference, we have enlisted the Broad Foundation to work with us on education reform, the Annie E. Casey Foundation on working families' issues and the Mott Foundation on after-school programs. There's plenty of room for new partnerships--our doors and our minds are always open.

Thank you again for inviting me and thank you for working to make New York a greater city than it already is.


Q&A:
(inaudible questions)

I think certain labor unions are doing a lot for job training. They are always open to suggestions on how to get their people into the apprentice programs. Some of the other unions are still trying to figure out where they’re going. The whole union movement has to figure out what the future is going to be about and where they’re going with some of their issues. We have several unions are doing some good things and are working with us. I like this summer program we had. We had the kids into different labor unions to find out what the labor movement is all about and what jobs are available because a lot of these kids didn’t know anybody who was a carpenter, electrician, or plumber. So they learned about that and had a great year. We had literacy programs with the kids. In our summer job program we put a lot of emphasis on educational component. When we have a summer job in the city, there has to be an educational component to every one of those jobs, so the kids are learning what they should be doing in the classroom.

(inaudible question)

Well, the jobs trust is part of the developments of our city. Any commercial development over 100,000 square feet pays a certain amount into housing trust and the jobs trust is about a $1.43 that I appoint five members to and it’s competitively bid every so often we put it out to bid to put money back into the neighborhoods. It comes from developments. They putting money into the job trusts is part of their agreement to build in the city. That makes up sometimes the bridge between what you get at the federal level and what you need. Some of the federal program…..but sometimes we bridge it…We do it other programs. We’re partners with a radiology program. We’re helping them with some job training money to teach young folks who work in the hospital for a better opportunity--to be a radiologist because people are not going into that field. When they graduate after 18 months, then they go to $40,000.

It’s a political fight to go through because the developments don’t want any of these things, but we’ve got the hardest real estate market in the world. If it wasn’t working, they wouldn’t build it. It works.

PART THREE: Panel discuss with City University of New York Chancellor, Matthew Goldstein; Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Jeanne Mullgrav; and Department of Employment Commissioner Betty Wu. Moderated by Julian Alssid, Workforce Strategy Center

JA:
Now we begin the working part of our meeting. A couple of words before I introduce the panel as they make their way on over:

The format of this panel is probably a bit different from what the chancellor and commissioners are used to and in the interest of making this discussion really different from the usual approach of executives beginning with prepared statements, we decided to jump right in with asking some of the key questions about workforce development. Then we’ll follow with Q&A as time allows. We’re a little behind schedule but we do want to stick to the timeframe in the agenda. Second, we have a late cancellation from HRA Commissioner Eggleston who will not be part of this discussion today.

The good news is that we have a really core group to further the inter-agency dialogue that everyone is speaking about and which is so needed.

I’ll jump in with Commissioner Wu. Are there any ways in the past year that your agency has rethought the notion of workforce development and preparation?

BW:
Absolutely. For instance, currently we’re revitalizing our workforce investment board. We understand how important it is to engage to business community, business leaders have to be an essential partner in this whole workforce development system.

JA:
Great, so can you give specific examples of how you’re working to engage business?

BW:
Yes. Since I became the Commissioner earlier this year, we’ve appointed new members from leading industries in the city. I’m looking to appoint a new executive director who will be working very closely with our board members in coming up with sector analysis, as Ester has mentioned.

We also began to speak to corporations – to engage them in the dialogue. I don’t believe many people understand what workforce investment systems are all about. What is WIA? We’re really helping all individuals from all economic and financial and educational backgrounds to be part of the workforce system.

JA:
Commissioner Mullgrav, I’ll ask you the same question. How for youth and community development have you rethought the dimension of workforce development? How does fit into your mission?

JM:
Well, part of it is tied to some of the trends that we’re seeing. For one, we are not dealing with as many public assistance recipients as we had in the past so our workforce development really has to reflect that. What we are seeing are new immigrants – pretty much the working poor – who come to our offices or our contract agencies with a number of needs. So we have really patched and improved the connection between literacy and employment. As you know, literacy is probably one of the largest indicators of how successful and what kind of earning potential a person will have. That’s one piece of it.

I think part of post-9/11 we are seeing that obviously there aren’t that many jobs out there. Part of it is not being real about what we have to offer young people. That’s not to say that we’re turning our backs on the overall goal of increasing the availability of jobs but when young people come to us, we have to say this is probably longer term than you might have expected. What we’re really going to be able to do for you at this point, may be limited to job preparation. So when the economy does improve, you’ll have some of the skills that will make you employable.

Service learning is another area that gives young people concrete experience and it’s not a full-time job but it enable them entre into that world.

Once last area is the role of community-based organizations. Increasingly, it’s the community-based organizations – and I heard Dr. Ester Fuchs talk about this earlier – that enables people to stay employed. So if you have childcare issues or a host of other case management issues, very often that is going to interfere with your employability.

JA:
Thanks. Dr. Goldstein, in your work at CUNY, could you sort of give an overview of your policies of workforce development?

MG:
Yes. Let me say how delighted I am to be here and to complement Neil Kleiman for putting this together. Betty Wu and Jeanne Mullgrav are good partners with the City University and it’s wonderful to share the panel with them. Being in the company of Esther Fuchs is always uplifting because she is one of the policy thinkers in New York, and a great friend as well.

Let me just start very quickly. Give me a minute just to tell you, parameter-wise…as a mathematician I always like to give some data just to frame what the City University is about.

We have about 208,000 degree seeking students and an equivalent number of students who would come in as “off-balance sheet” where they come to the university to acquire skills or get certification or refurbish their knowledge-set and are not really interested in a formal degree problem. So when people ask me, I indicate that we have about 420,000 students who study at the City University of New York…11 senior colleges, 6 community colleges and a number of professional schools, including business school, engineering school, social work school, medical school.. So we are a large institution. Operating budget with all research is about $1.7 billion. Capital program that we’re finishing is about a billion dollars. We house and own about 385 buildings across the five boroughs. We are a large institution.

When I think about workforce, I think about a very central mission of the City University of New York and largely about our community colleges. Oftentimes when I’ve given the kind of credit and attention at large universities, they don’t really talk enough about the community colleges. I think we really need to acknowledge the very good work that they do. They are very much the engine in my mind for workforce development in the city. Students oftentimes go to a community college because they have a certain horizon in mind and in order to acquire certain skills and certification in order for them to get the good job. So for us, this is something we do on a daily basis and I think we do it very well.

I have another perspective that I’d like to mention. I think workforce development is very much tied to business development. I don’t think you have a vibrant workforce in the city unless you can attract and maintain businesses. That is a trust centrally with me working with a new CUNY business leadership council, working with labor in particular, working with the Department of Education, working with mission agencies in both the City and New York to find a way to establish attractors for businesses so that they can be seated, they can be formed, they can flourish and they can hire people to do the work, I think will grow a workforce in this city.

Two new, fresh examples indicate some of the thinking we’re doing. We’ve recently established the CUNY Business Development Corporation, a separately chartered, 501(c)3 company that we formed about a year and half ago. We’ve already created a business, Restored Central, that was established by the New York City Partnership and the New York City Investment Fund. This is a company that went into work very shortly after 9/11 and started to work with small business – hundreds of them – to get them righted so that they can be given the tools and resources in order for them to flourish.

We’ve attracted a fair amount of seed capital from a number of major companies and the purpose of this corporation is to really break the boundaries that separate a traditional university from the community in which it serves. We are going to see through the CUNY Business Development Corporation a series of initiatives around the city for a new CUNY-business incubator network that we’re going to start on a number of our campuses. I see Gail Mellow, President of LaGuardia Community College. She is blessed with the first node in this network of activity that we’ve just received $7.5 million from the State Legislature to serve as an attractor for businesses that have a certain theme. We’re going to do this in Long Island City with LaGuardia around new media, internet-based and other new technologies around new media.

We’re going to look to do one at Borough of Manhattan Community College where we have a very vast network of businesses. Unfortunately that was taken out when 7 World Trade Center came down. It took one of our buildings with it as well. We have seven businesses in that facility around broadband content internet work that was flourishing. The work we do with them is to give them our major asset, which is cheap real estate and intellectual capital. In exchange, we take a position in those companies, so if they flourish, we flourish.

We’re going to do this at Hostos Community College around the live health programs. We’re going to see these kind of activities around the City University of New York, around developing businesses – help them develop, help them grow, help them employ people. That is going to be long, new, fresh activity for the university that we’ve never done before.

So with that, I’ll stop.

JA:
That’s very interesting. Is there a model for CUNY that you are building on or has this been built at CUNY?

MG:
There have been universities that have attempted to do business incubators. Perhaps the best is at Columbia University. They are doing fine. We have a very different model. Our model is to really look at a sector of the city and see where there can be a commonality of businesses with common interests, common foundation support …. so that they can share ideas, they can help solve problems together, they can be there for each other even on emotional levels. Sometimes help and support financially. I think this is an interesting and vital model that we might be able to do especially in a city that has grown so dramatically around new immigrants. These are people whose families do not have connections with large companies. They may be suspicious and unfamiliar with the cultural ethos of these large companies. They’re much more persuaded that starting a business makes sense to them. They are entrepreneurial. They are driven. They are hard working. We’d like to capitalize on that kind of culture and that kind of approach to bring common businesses together and that is the basic theme of this CUNY network of incubators that is going to be managed with a corporate shell for the CUNY Development Corporation.

JA:
Great, thanks. I’d like to come back a little further on to the whole issue of engaging business but I’d be interested to hear from Commissioner Wu – a little bit about any new initiatives around workforce development that you’ve rolled out.

BW:
There is no secret that we are in the process of rolling out the citywide one-stop system, which we’ve branded New York City Workforce One Career Center. I’m very happy to report, as of today, we have three one-stops in the city of the New York. We just opened one up in Harlem last week; three weeks ago in the Bronx; currently we’re in the process of issuing a request for proposal to fund the existing three centers plus three additional ones. One in Staten Island, Brooklyn and one in Lower Manhattan. So our plan is that by next summer, this city will have six one-stop systems.

My next step looking forward is to link these distinct CBOs who are providing training, looking at CUNY as a partner and also looking at the educational system….incorporating business…how can we all work together? And not to forget the foundations. To really build this system. That is one of our major initiatives.

The second initiative is really to use technology. As the chancellor has just mentioned, I believe technology is the number one force to really help all of us to really speak on the same parameter. This city with 8.1 million people when you compare the city with other cities around the nation, I always say that we are very unique. We’re very diverse. Therefore, technology through a swipe-card system (which we’re planning to implement at the one-stop system) that we start collecting our client’s information when they first walk into the door. Regardless of whether we’ll report those data to federal government under the Workforce Investment Act.

Another initiative that we’re embarking on is to rethink, retool our youth development workforce program. For instance, right now we are considering how to issue our next out-of-school youth program. We’re speaking with the Board of Education and also CUNY to see where linkages might just work.

JA:
Great, thanks very much. Speaking of youth, Commissioner Mullgrav, same question.

JM:
One of the things that we’re most proud of is that this past summer, and definitely with the help of Commissioner Wu and her agency, we were able to develop a summer youth employment program. It grew out of a couple of things. Unfortunately the number of slots that we had slated for the summer was significantly lower. It also grew from what we were hearing from young people. They said the one thing they want to do is work, so being the youth agency, we had to be responsive to that.

One of the things that I’m particularly proud of is that we were able to use and leverage federal dollars that might have to be returned to the federal government because it was rolled over money, and put that into allowing 3,200 young people to work through community-based organizations. We have seven CBOs throughout all five boroughs.

Another partner in this, and I see John right in front of me, is CUNY. We felt that to the extent that we were going to have kids all in one place, that they should be exposed to the academic sphere, that they should learn about the campuses and also a chance to enhance their own academic skills. I was appointed in April and if you know anything about getting things off the ground, specifically a youth employment program, quickly was really a feat. But CUNY was really a very helpful partner in coming up with project-based learning opportunities, anything ranging from dissecting frogs to learning how to create budgets ross with organized labor is important.

So partnerships for us – at this point in our evolution as a great university – for me, is a sine qua non for a healthy university and we’re going to continue to move that along.

JA:
Thanks. Commissioner Wu, we know that being a contracting agency presents DOE with a whole unique set of challenges to doing public-private partnerships but I’m interested to hear what that means to you.

BW:
Absolutely. For instance, at the one-stops we’ve already begun engaging the employers in terms of training their employees. For instance, Washington Mutual which is expanding very rapidly across all five boroughs. Home Depot, BP and various small businesses that come into the one stop centers. I’m also engaging other city commissioners for part of the economic development team to make sure that when they think about developing business in the city, they think about DOE and its role.

We have a very longstanding good relationship with Prudential Financial that every year we do training for young people especially those who are interested in financial services. This has been a very successful program. We’re looking forward to expanding this model with other financial institutions.

We also have private sectors resources in the one-stop and in our youth employment program. For instance, last summer several banks – Federal Reserve, Northfork Bank, Citigroup and Fleet – all came together and participated in the financial management course for our young people. In the city right now, we are looking to expand our program to include all public assistance. Also the summer youth employment program, as Jeanne just mentioned, instead of looking at this as a summer youth employment program, I would like to expand that to all-year program and really ask the corporations to be responsible for these youths. How can we craft internship programs that last all year-round regardless if the students are interested in that industry, but really to help them have experience and let them know that this job is available for them once they graduate from high school or college.

We are also working very closely with the foundation. I have to say thank you very much for helping all our contracts, especially the in-school youth program on the technical assistance side. As we roll out the one-stop, it is very important that we educate. We educate those contractors who are going to be participating. We wanted to make sure this system beats Boston and this is going to be one of the best systems in the nation.

JA:
Many experts have pointed out that oftentimes training programs have been developed in isolation of labor market demands and without direct connection to employers, resulting in loss of people with training but no jobs. Clearly there is a whole set of issues around making these connections around timing, economic shifts and changing technologies. I’d be curious to hear from you, Chancellor, on what you are doing now and in what ways could we be doing more in this area.

MG:
Let me share with you some very serious discussions that I’ve been having with a number of major companies; the lead company of which is Paine Webber. We have had several conversations about the creation of a labor market intelligence network which I think addresses the observation of the rhetorical question that you just raised.

We’ve proposed if we have the funds to create this labor market intelligence network to use these funds to collect and analyze information about employers, workforce educati