Testimony - November 2023

Supercharging CUNY Reconnect to Support Returning Students

In this testimony before the NYC Council Committee on Higher Education, CUF Senior Fellow John Surico, on behalf of CUF Policy Director Eli Dvorkin, makes the case to further support the CUNY Reconnect program to help ensure that far more returning students succeed the second time around in postsecondary education.

Testimony - November 2023

Strengthening New York State’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

In this testimony before the NYS Assembly Higher Education Committee, CUF Researcher Melissa Lent, on behalf of CUF Policy Director Eli Dvorkin, outlines three specific recommendations for New York State to further strengthen its Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) into one of the most effective and inclusive in the nation.

Report - October 2023

Boosting Tech Career Success for CUNY Students: Doubling Down on CUNY 2X Tech

The CUNY 2X Tech initiative is expanding access to internships in tech firms, boosting employment outcomes for graduates, bringing industry expertise into classrooms, and helping to hire the faculty and advisors needed to support booming enrollment in tech degree programs. To make further progress toward a more equitable economy, city leaders should expand this initiative and maintain its momentum.

Commentary/Op-Ed - October 2023

To Get STEM Education to Every Student, Train All New Teachers in Computing Education

In this The 74 op-ed, Council Member Rita Joseph and CUF's Eli Dvorkin argue that while the city has dramatically expanded the CS4All initiative, only a fraction of schools are meeting the program's participation and equity goals. They call for the city to invest in teacher training in computing education.

Commentary/Op-Ed - October 2023

To build a more vibrant economy across New York State, start with the arts

In this Democrat and Chronicle op-ed, CUF's Eli Dvorkin and Rochester Area Community Foundation's Simeon Banister lay out the opportunity for New York State to double down on supporting the arts, while making equitable arts investment a cornerstone of the state’s economic development strategy.

Commentary/Op-Ed - October 2023

The city should provide free MetroCards to CUNY students

In this amNewYork op-ed, CUF's Jonathan Bowles and Fisher Brothers' and Area15's Winston Fisher make the case to the mayor and the City Council that, to ensure a lot more New Yorkers can advance into the middle class, one of the most effective actions they can take is to give every CUNY community college student a free MetroCard.

Report - October 2023

Upstate’s Creative Spark: How the Arts Is Catalyzing Economic Vitality Across Upstate New York

To reverse decades of economic stagnation and population declines in upstate New York, policymakers should look to one powerful but often overlooked catalyst: the arts. By better integrating the arts into New York State economic development planning, policymakers have an opportunity to build on recent momentum and lay the groundwork for a more vibrant, sustainable, and equitable economy.

Report - September 2023

Preparing Today’s Asylum Seekers to Be Tomorrow’s Workforce

New York City has long struggled to help many of the city’s 2.79 million working age foreign-born residents—including over 1.4 million who have limited English proficiency—get on the path to employment. Now, tens of thousands of new asylum seekers are settling here, and the city is further behind. These newest New Yorkers can be a major boon for the city's economy, but workforce development providers need new investment to support them.

Testimony - September 2023

Training NYC’s Future Teachers to Integrate Computing Education

In this testimony before the NYC Council Committees on Technology and Education, CUF Data Researcher Rachel Neches and Policy Director Eli Dvorkin urge the Council to expand training programs for thousands more of the city's future teachers - at all grade levels and in every subject - to integrate the core concepts of computing education into their classrooms.

Report - September 2023

Expanding on CS4All: Training NYC’s Future Teachers to Integrate Computing Education

By training thousands more future teachers to integrate computing education in the classroom, New York City can help far more New Yorkers access technology-powered careers. Fewer than 5 percent of CUNY teacher education graduates are equipped to teach computational thinking, preventing many of the most disadvantaged students from receiving the full benefits of the Computer Science for All (CS4All) initiative.

Commentary/Op-Ed - August 2023

Prioritize skills to fill city jobs: NYC should drop the need for a college degree for some posts

In this NY Daily News op-ed, CUF's Jonathan Bowles urges elected officials and Mayor Adams to take the lead in embracing a skills-first approach by removing degree requirements for hundreds or even thousands of city government jobs to open up well-paying public sector jobs to New Yorkers that have been shut out of these opportunities.

Report - August 2023

5 Steps for Expanding Skills-Based Hiring in New York City

This new report finds that expanding skills-based hiring may be the greatest untapped opportunity to build a more equitable economy in New York City. It urges private sector companies and the City of New York to eliminate degree requirements for some jobs and instead hire based on an assessment of demonstrated skills, laying out five steps to get there.

Report - July 2023

Strengthening SYEP: Introducing NYC Youth to Higher-Wage Career Paths

The Summer Youth Employment Program is in many ways a resounding success, connecting over 100,000 young New Yorkers to paid work opportunities. But there is one critical area the program has fallen short—expanding employer partnerships in high-wage, growing industries that are shaping the city’s economic future.

Testimony - June 2023

Strengthening Immigrant- and Minority-Owned Small Businesses by Expanding Access to CDFIs

In this testimony before the NYC Council Committee on Small Business, CUF Data Researcher Rachel Neches and Policy Director Eli Dvorkin urge the Council to expand the reach of the city's Community Development Financial Institutions to strengthen immigrant- and minority-owned small businesses.

Report - June 2023

7 Ideas for Boosting NYC’s Newest Businesses

Neighborhoods across New York City—from the South Bronx to Sunset Park—are experiencing an unprecedented entrepreneurial renaissance. This brief explores insights from a Center for an Urban Future policy forum on what exactly city government officials should do to ensure that a significant share of the city's newest businesses prosper for many years to come.

Commentary/Op-Ed - June 2023

To Create a More Equitable Economy, Invest in CUNY

In this Gotham Gazette op-ed, CUF's Jonathan Bowles and Eli Dvorkin make the case for why policymakers should prioritize fully funding CUNY. Despite the essential role CUNY plays in creating economic opportunity for low-income New Yorkers of color, it stands to see a net budget cut of $140.9 million in FY 2024. Now is the time to invest in CUNY’s effectiveness, not limit its potential.

Report - June 2023

NYC’s Stalled Retail Recovery

Retail is one of New York City’s largest industry sectors, and home to an outsized share of the most accessible jobs. But the retail sector is lagging well behind the city’s overall jobs recovery and other face-to-face industries, including restaurants, that were hit hard during the pandemic, raising concerns about whether this vital and diverse part of the city’s economy will ever get back to its pre-pandemic employment level.

Commentary/Op-Ed - June 2023

Expanding Micromobility Across All Five Boroughs

To make further headway in reducing NYC's carbon footprint, much more progress is needed to lower emissions from transportation—New York's second-largest source after buildings. A faster citywide expansion of green micromobility options can help achieve the city's ambitious climate goals while meeting the changing transit needs of the postpandemic city.

Commentary/Op-Ed - April 2023

To boost economic mobility, help CUNY ACE grow

In this amNewYork op-ed, CUF's Eli Dvorkin and Robin Hood's Deborah McCoy urge city and state leaders to commit to scaling the highly promising but small-scale CUNY Accelerate, Complete, and Engage (ACE) program over the next five years to ensure that more New Yorkers from lower-income backgrounds can earn a college degree.

Report - March 2023

Playing New York City’s ACE Card

Few student success programs nationally have been as effective as CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) initiative, which has grown to serve 25,000 community college students. CUNY has a promising program modeled on ASAP that is helping students at senior colleges complete their bachelor’s degrees on time: the Accelerate, Complete, and Engage (ACE) program. But the ACE program has considerable room to grow.

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