Video: Strengthening NYC’s Youth Workforce Development System

Event - October 2014

Video: Strengthening NYC’s Youth Workforce Development System

On October 7, 2014, the Center for an Urban Future and JobsFirstNYC held a solutions-oriented symposium on how to address New York City's youth workforce development system and to discuss specific steps that the de Blasio administration could take to get more young New Yorkers into decent paying careers.

Tags: economic opportunity workforce development human capital higher education low income youth community colleges

At a time when 172,000 young adults in New York City are neither working nor enrolled in school, and many more are simply relegated to low-wage jobs, this symposium brought together government officials, practitioners, business leaders, philanthropic funders and policy experts to examine how to improve and expand existing youth workforce development programs, and explore ideas for new initiatives that could help put more of the city's youth and young adults on the path to economic self-sufficiency.

The forum built upon the findings and recommendations of the Center for an Urban Future's report Bridging the Disconnect, which shines a light on the need to improve and restructure New York's youth workforce development system, and JobsFirstNYC's report Unleashing the Economic Power of the 35 Percent, which calls for reforms to expand employment opportunities for New York City's young adults and examines best practices for moving in that direction. Check out the video of the event below.


  • Click here (PDF) to download the materials within the symposium packet including the agenda, biographies, and the list of attendees.
  • Click here (PDF) for the notes from the symposium’s strategy session.


  • Click here for the Center for an Urban Future’s report: Bridging the Disconnect.
  • Click here for JobsFirstNYC’s report: Unleashing the Economic Power of the 35 Percent.

This event is generously supported by the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation and the Ira W. DeCamp Foundation 



Welcoming Remarks

  • Blake Foote, Board Member, Center for an Urban Future
  • Jonathan Bowles, Executive Director, Center for an Urban Future
  • Louis Miceli, Executive Director, JobsFirstNYC

8:40am – 8:50am: Presentation: Bridging the Disconnect and Unleashing the Economic Power of the 35 Percent

  • Christian Gonzalez-Rivera, Research Associate, Center for an Urban Future
  • Margaret Stix, Principal, Lookout Hill Public Policy Associates

9:00am – 10:15am: Panel: Solutions for New York City’s Youth Workforce System

  • Moderator: David Jason Fischer, Center for an Urban Future/JobsFirstNYC
  • Bill Chong, Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Youth and Community Development
  • Roderick Jenkins, Program Officer, Children, Youth and Families, New York Community Trust
  • Angie Kamath, Executive Director, Per Scholas New York
  • Paul Ortega, National Director of Training & Organizational Development, Swiss Post Solutions
  • John Twomey, Workforce Consultant, John A. Twomey and Associates