Mayor de Blasio announced today that NYCHA has placed residents into nearly 15,000 jobs since 2014 through their workforce development programs. Half of these jobs are at the housing authority or construction projects with NYCHA contractors and affordable housing developers, and the rest are in the private sector. Building on that success, the City is expanding NYCHA’s workforce development programs to Brownsville and Western Queens to provide more residents access to financial counseling, training, and jobs.
“NYCHA residents are the backbone of our city. We are fighting every day to connect more residents to the good-paying jobs and careers they deserve,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“We are proud to have supported thousands of residents with new job placements,” said NYCHA Interim Chair and CEO Stanley Brezenoff. “NYCHA will continue to empower our residents through programs like REES to advance their careers and open doors to additional opportunities for themselves and their families.”
The Office of Resident Economic Empowerment and Sustainability (REES), part of NYCHA’s Department of Community Engagement and Partnerships (CEP), has helped to engage and connect residents to jobs and opportunities through strategic partnerships and key programs including JobsPlus and the Resident Training Academy. JobsPlus is a place-based program that serves one or a cluster of public housing developments. The program connects residents to a variety of private sector jobs, provides financial counseling and training. The Resident Training Academy provides employment-linked training for NYCHA residents that leads to careers with NYCHA in positions such as caretakers and pest control technicians, and to build careers in the construction trades through opportunities with NYCHA contractors and affordable housing developers. REES also connects residents to opportunities through a citywide network of over 80 community-based partners that offer high-quality workforce, business development, as well as educational and financial counseling services for residents.
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The JobsPlus program provided 7,313 resident placements since 2014. Last year, those jobs provided a median wage of $14.95 per hour. REES, through its Resident Training Academy and other programs provided 7,169 additional job placements since 2014, with a median wage of $21.39. Building on the success of these workforce development programs, NYCHA is now expanding its Resident Training Academy by 70% or 225 additional trainees annually. As announced in NYCHA 2.0, residents will be prepared for good paying jobs that address NYCHA repairs needs, as well as new construction and preservation efforts. The JobsPlus program will also expand within Brownsville and Western Queens. For more info, residents should visit opportunitynycha.org.
Since 2014, NYCHA has implemented the following efforts to provide more economic opportunities to residents:
- Establishing seven union partnerships for direct employment and 80 community partnerships to provide quality social and economic opportunity services.
- Providing on the ground employment-linked training opportunities and job placement assistance to NYCHA residents through the NYCHA Resident Training Academy.
- Expanded the JobsPlus program to launch the City’s 10th site in East New York.
- Providing nearly 24,000 resident connections to high-quality economic opportunity services.
- Growing the graduating class from the Food Business Pathways Program (FBP) to 270 residents; FBP is a free business accelerator program, sponsored by Small Business Services, that empowers public housing residents and NYCHA Section 8 voucher holders to start and grow food businesses.
- Expanded access to the Earned Income Tax Credit by launching the first-ever Virtual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites on NYCHA campuses.
- Launched the new OpportunityConnect portal to directly connect residents with services from REES and its partners.
“Increasing access to employment is key to fighting poverty and preventing homelessness,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “We’re proud to participate in this NYCHA program that is opening doors for the people we serve, connecting thousands of our hardworking neighbors in need to jobs and opportunity—and we look forward to continuing to collaborate to improve the lives of all New Yorkers.”
“Helping NYCHA residents connect to quality jobs increases economic mobility and strengthens communities,” said Matt Klein, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity. “We look forward to building on these successes to help more NYCHA residents achieve their goals.
“Meaningful employment is tied inextricably to a sound financial future and decent jobs give hope to people trying to create better lives for themselves and their families,” said Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), Chair of the Assembly’s Housing Committee. “I commend NYCHA and the city for demonstrating a deep commitment to improving the lives of residents through this important initiative.”
State Senator Andrew Gounardes, Chair of the Senate’s Civil Service and Pensions Committee, said “Work means dignity, and NYCHA has opened the door for thousands of New Yorkers to earn a living wage, family health benefits, and contribute to the City they love. I applaud this effort and look forward to the day when anyone, anywhere seeking work can find a job that provides economic security and financial stability.”
Senator Jessica Ramos said: “I commend the New York City Housing Authority in their workforce development programs that place thousands of public housing residents into jobs. As chair of the New York State Senate Labor Committee, it is my priority to ensure that workers’ rights in New York are protected and their work is dignified. The work that the New York City Housing Authority does makes strides in this effort to provide New Yorkers with good jobs.”
“The implementation and expansion of workforce development programs are an important way to ensure public housing residents are connected to jobs that can help them provide for their families. I’m proud to have sponsored legislation that expanded the JobsPlus and REES programs, and am glad to see NYCHA connect thousands of residents to jobs through these programs,” said Councilman Ritchie Torres.