Mayor de Blasio’s Career Ready NYC Prepares NYC Youth From Harlem To Hollis For Success

July 25, 2019

Mayor de Blasio, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Phil Thompson, Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza, City University of New York Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez.Others include NYC Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong today announced the launch of CareerReady NYC —a partnership between City government, employers, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations to support young New Yorkers with the education, work experience and personal attributes needed for career success and economic security. The announcement was made at Community Health Academy of the Heights in northern Manhattan, part of CareerReady NYC, a program where students are participating in a summer enrichment program that incorporates academic credit, career exploration and project-based learning. The program is run in partnership with the sustainability nonprofit Solar One, CareerReady Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) provider Community League of the Heights, and community-based organization United Community Schools.

CareerReady NYC aligns the components of the “public talent pipeline”—K-12 public schools, publicly administered workforce programs, and the CUNY system—within a coordinated system of academics, work-based learning experiences, and comprehensive supports. Developed by a working group of City administrators, educators, employers, funders, and service providers, CareerReady NYC will furnish young New Yorkers with the skills, credentials, and experiences to thrive in the world of work, while ensuring a robust pipeline to fill the talent needs of local employers and fuel the city’s economic growth.

“The highest priority of my Administration has been to end the ‘tale of two cities’ and build a city with equal opportunities,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Just as my administration implemented Pre-K for All to advance equity for our youngest children, today we commit to expanding work-based learning opportunities to better prepare our youth and young adults for careers that will serve them for years to come.”

CareerReady NYC helps put the pieces together for New York City youth,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Phil Thompson. “By more closely aligning K-12 education, career exploration, work readiness, and postsecondary education and training, we will provide our young people the tools they need to build the lives they want.”

“CareerReady NYC will help students envision the future they want and the steps they need to make it a reality,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “With record-high graduation and college enrollment rates, we are emphasizing career awareness and exploration more strategically and earlier than ever before, so that more students are positioned to achieve their goals when they leave our doors.”

“CUNY is excited to be part of a program that advances a vital part of our educational mission,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “CareerReady NYC will enhance our CUNY Career Success program, a comprehensive system that is preparing our students for careers that tap their talents and aspirations and enable them to provide for their families and serve their communities. A perfect example of that initiative is our HERO High School program at Hostos, which graduated its first class in May.”

“Every year we give more and more students a paid opportunity that could change the trajectory of their careers. This year we are meeting young people where they are by revolutionizing the way they experience and connect to those interests and career options. By providing structured project and work-based opportunities, New York City youth are better prepared for careers of the future,” said DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong.

As detailed in a report released today, CareerReady NYC sets out a vision of progressive preparation for the world of work. Beginning in early adolescence and continuing into young adulthood, New Yorkers will reach well sequenced milestones in career exploration, work experience, academic achievement, and focused skills training.

Core to the initiative is a set of transformational changes to the City’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), which annually serves 75,000 youth ages 14 to 24. Additional components include an expansion of career exploration opportunities from middle school through college, greater emphasis on “early college” learning opportunities for high school students, and a new approach to engaging employers as full partners in the youth workforce system.

Expansions to the Summer Youth Employment Program:

Since it began in 1963, SYEP has connected generations of young New Yorkers to the world of work. In 2019, the program will offer a broader range of opportunities for youth to explore career and educational interests. Highlights include closer partnerships with public schools, new opportunities for young people who reside in select NYCHA developments, expanded services for high-need youth such as those in foster care and the shelter system, and year-round sector-focused learning. With these changes, SYEP will serve as the foundation of CareerReady NYC. Highlights include the following:

  • Project-based learning and career exploration. SYEP’s youngest participants, aged 14-15, will participate in exciting project-based learning experiences that explore their individual interests and benefit their communities. These six-week structured projects will provide a work-readiness foundation along with opportunities for career exploration and development of social and emotional skills.
  • CareerReady SYEP. Through this “school-based” SYEP option, 27 community-based organizations are partnering with 60 high schools in all five boroughs, reinforcing in-school career development and ensuring that summer jobs and project-based learning experiences are aligned with the academic and career focus of schools and students. This program will serve nearly 7,000 students this summer, growing to 20,000 over the next two years. It also will function as a springboard into more advanced and focused internship opportunities, such as the Career and Technical Education Industry Scholars Program and Ladders for Leaders, a competitive paid professional internship option within SYEP, in subsequent summers.
  • Serving NYCHA residents. Supporting one of Mayor de Blasio’s top priorities to make neighborhoods throughout NYC safer and stronger, young people residing in select NYCHA developments will have expanded access to opportunities for career readiness, employment experiences and support services. Partnerships between community groups, SYEP providers, NYCHA developments, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) and Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety (MAP), programming will provide unique benefits to youth and their communities at large.
  • Expanding services for high-need youth groups. Since Mayor de Blasio took office, his administration has committed to improving specialized employment services for vulnerable youth populations. The number of foster care, runaway/homeless and justice-involved young people being served has grown from 1,000 in 2014 to a record-breaking 4,000 expected to be served this summer.

“For several years now, the Community Service Society has called for a closer connection between what New York City’s high school students learn during the ten months of the year they are in class, and the work experiences they have over the summer through SYEP. We strongly endorse CareerReady SYEP, and the full CareerReady NYC initiative, as a bridge connecting these vital components of youth development and creating a stronger foundation for college and careers,” said David R. Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Service Society of New York.

Expanded Career Awareness and Exploration:

One goal of CareerReady NYC is to help youth and their families make better-informed choices about education, training, and work. To that end, the initiative will build career awareness activities—including site visits to workplaces, online career exploration, and project-based learning—into after-school experiences beginning in the middle grades. The effort will begin in the 2019-2020 school year with a cohort of SONYC (School’s Out NYC) programs serving 10-15 middle schools. Career awareness will continue through high school, leveraging the Department of Education’s College Access for All as well as SYEP. CUNY students will have expanded access to career exploration through the CUNY Career Success initiative, which is supporting monthly Meetup events in sectors including technology, finance, and the arts.

Sector-Focused Programs:

In keeping with the de Blasio Administration strategy of focusing workforce resources within high-demand sectors of the local economy, CareerReady NYC will build pipelines of rising worker talent within the city’s most dynamic sectors. One such effort is Media MKRS, a partnership between CUNY, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), and the Brooklyn-based nonprofit Reel Works to prepare talented young New Yorkers for careers in the City’s thriving television and film production industry. Through Media MKRS, New Yorkers as young as 12 years old will have opportunities to earn digital skills badges—portable credentials that reflect employer-validated technical and work readiness skills. CUNY students in Media MKRS will have opportunities for paid internships with leading media companies that have committed to support the project, such as AMC, HBO, and Netflix.

“With increasing demand for technical skills in New York City’s creative sectors, we are intent on helping to provide pathways for public school and CUNY students into these exciting industries,” said Media and Entertainment Commissioner Anne del Castillo. “We are pleased to partner with Reel Works, CUNY, and New York City’s top media and entertainment companies to offer this opportunity for students to earn digital credentials in technical skills and work readiness, as well as training and internship opportunities to prepare them for production jobs in the film and television industry.”

Another key initiative, further reflecting the City’s commitment to CareerReady NYC as an employer, is the Civil Service Pathways Fellowship (CSP). A partnership between CUNY, the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), the NYC Center for Youth Employment, and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, CSP simultaneously addresses two urgent problems: the challenges many CUNY graduates face in securing a living wage and career-track work, and the City’s aging public sector workforce. CSP offers qualified CUNY seniors and graduates a paid fellowship of up to two years, with a pathway into the permanent civil service.

“City government needs a skilled workforce that reflects the talents and diversity of all New Yorkers, including young people who are looking to build a career,” said Lisette Camilo, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services. “The Civil Service Pathways Fellowship connects recent CUNY graduates with rewarding career opportunities and provides City government with a pipeline of talented future leaders. CUNY has the most diverse student body in the country, and our partnership with them is a natural fit.”

New Approach to Engaging Employers:

Thousands of New York City employers partner with programs such as SYEP, schools across the five boroughs, and countless privately supported youth employment or enrichment initiatives. CareerReady NYC proposes to more effectively coordinate those engagements, helping to connect private businesses, anchor institutions such as hospitals and museums, and nonprofit organizations into a system structure that will more effectively and equitably reach the countless young New Yorkers that would benefit from work-based learning opportunities.

CareerReady NYC sets out an ambitious vision and important first steps towards establishing a truly holistic and integrated set of services to support New York City youth on the path to career success,” said Darren Bloch, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships and Senior Advisor to the Mayor. “To make this vision a high-functioning reality at scale will require strong collaboration with employers and community stakeholders. We are grateful to the dozens of partners already supporting this work, and we look forward to hundreds, if not thousands, of others following their lead.”

“The CareerReady NYC program is an amazing expansion of the already-strong foundation of SYEP. I had the opportunity to meet some of the young people participating in the pilot this summer at Community Health Academy of the Heights and was impressed by the project-based learning they were engaged in. I am excited to see this program expand in the coming years and prepare more and more youth for diverse careers in our great city!” said State Senator Robert Jackson.

CareerReady NYC will provide essential services, academic preparedness, and employment training to ensure our youth are ready for college and the 21st-century workforce. Our young people need the proper resources, tools, and support to decide which jobs are right for them and will offer them the success and financial independence they deserve. I commend Mayor de Blasio for expanding professional development opportunities for all young New Yorkers,” said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Education.

“At the Center for Youth Employment, our core mission has been to more closely align education, career exploration and work readiness, and personal development for young New Yorkers. CareerReady NYC provides a compelling vision and a strong operational framework to support that alignment, and help our City’s youth define and achieve the futures they want,” said David Fischer, Executive Director of the NYC Center for Youth Employment.

“New York City’s future prosperity rests in large part upon how well we prepare youth for career opportunities within a rapidly changing economy. The Partnership welcomes and supports the commitment of CareerReady NYC to more effectively partner with our city’s employers toward the shared goal of building a robust talent pipeline,” said Kathy Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City.

CareerReady NYC looks to be the most ambitious career readiness initiative launched by any big city in the U.S. It incorporates early and sustained career information and awareness in the middle grades, increasing opportunities for work-based learning in the high schools, and a stronger focus on career training and placement in the college years. CareerReady NYC, designed to create a public talent pipeline, is good for young people, good for employers, and ultimately good for the city’s continuing economic growth,” said Bob Schwartz, co-author of Learning for Careers and Professor Emeritus, Harvard Graduate School of Education.

“A solid educational foundation and early exposure to the world of work are key components in our efforts to create career pathways for all New Yorkers. CareerReady NYC ensures those pieces are in place, preparing the City’s rising workforce to access good jobs with our large and diverse employer community,” said Amy Peterson, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development.

“Summer job experiences—with the opportunity to develop workplace and money management skills—serve as onramps towards securing a strong financial future,” said Florencia Spangaro, Citi Foundation’s Director of Programs. “The Citi Foundation is proud that Summer Jobs Connect, our continued collaboration with Mayor de Blasio and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, has gone on to support the goals of the CareerReady NYC initiative. By connecting young people in New York City with a summer job and the chance to achieve their career aspirations, we are helping to build healthy financial lives for young people.”

Many leading New York City employers from key sectors of the local economy, including business and financial services, healthcare, hospitality, media, technology, and transportation, have endorsed CareerReady NYC as a compelling structure to sustain and scale efforts to help prepare our city’s youth for the world of work.

“At Northwell Health, our top priority is the well-being of our patients and their communities. Our work with educational institutions and community-based organizations helps fulfill that mission by helping to prepare a well-qualified, highly engaged workforce to provide for their care. We are excited to partner with CareerReady NYC in strengthening those engagements to reach young New Yorkers with an interest in the healthcare field,” said Ram Raju, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Community Investment Officer at Northwell Health.

“The Wildlife Conservation Society, which operates four zoos and an aquarium in New York City, has a mutually beneficial relationship with the communities we serve. We depend on the people in these neighborhoods to help make a trip to the zoo or aquarium a great experience for our guests, and we are proud to offer the opportunity for youth to gain experience in the workforce. The Bronx Zoo has long been the largest employer of youth in The Bronx which makes our support and involvement with CareerReady NYC a natural fit. We applaud Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Richard Carranza, and CUNY for initiating this important program,” said John F. Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs.

“One thing all businesses need, regardless of size or sector, is local, talented workers who have the skills and experience to hit the ground running. Our local economy relies on strong employees to grow and prosper. With its emphasis on work experience and approach of connecting classroom learning with career goals, CareerReady NYC offers great potential to help employers meet that need. We look forward to working with the City to implement this plan,” said Héctor Batista, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

“Modell’s is excited to be part of a group of stakeholders who collectively, will lend all available resources to adequately prepare New Yorkers for a variety of career opportunities. This is consistent with our mission to not only help provide those opportunities but to support efforts that open up those paths with a number of career sectors that make this city a great place to work and grow,” said Greg Hambric, Talent Acquisition Manager of Modell’s Sporting Goods.

“It is critical for every student to have equitable access to real-time, industry-informed, and on-the-job training to prepare for the future of work. Uncubed began partnering with The Center for Youth Employment in 2017 to offer internships to New Yorkers who may not otherwise have been exposed to these experiences, and we have tripled our participation and investment in this internship program since. We are excited to further our partnership with CYE through the launch of CareerReady NYC, and to help in preparing even more New Yorkers for tomorrow’s careers,” said Brian Shoicket, COO, Uncubed.

“Discovery is proud to join CareerReady NYC, furthering our commitment to provide opportunities for young people to explore careers in the media industry,” said Adria Alpert Romm, Chief People & Culture Officer, Discovery, Inc. “This initiative enables Discovery to partner with the city, nonprofits, educational institutions and other like-minded companies to help New York’s youth learn about different industries, gain valuable work experience and build important relationships to help them become career ready.”

“Pipeline development is essential for the healthcare industry, which is among the largest employers across the City. As a healthcare employer, we are especially excited that CareerReady NYC will prepare our City’s youth to meet the demands for skilled, talented, and innovative employees in our constantly evolving industry. We look forward to working with the Mayor’s office, community organizations and other stakeholders in the implementation of this important strategy,” said Jenny Tsang-Quinn, Vice President, Clinical Programs, Community Care of Brooklyn CSO, Department of Population Health, Maimonides Medical Center.

“CareerReady is an incredibly important expansion of the public school system’s efforts to fully prepare kids for life after high school. We are excited to participate and introduce students to the inner workings of the hospitality industry,” said Caroline Gleser, Director of Development at BD Hotels.

“The best interns we’ve ever hosted came from the CUNY system,” said Jesse Derris, founder of brand consultancy Derris. “We’re excited to continue our partnership with the city to help uncover and nurture the next generation of talent in New York.”

“To build the workforce of the future, we need to create a pipeline of skilled talent as well as pathways for continued learning and mobility for young people,” said Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation President & CEO David Ehrenberg. “CareerReady NYC closely aligns with the Navy Yard’s mission around workforce development, our internship opportunities, and the high school curriculum at our recently opened STEAM center. We look forward to supporting this strategic partnership as it provides another opportunity to serve youth and employers in the City.”

“National Grid is committed to building local talent and investing in the future workforce. Through our partnership with CareerReadyNYC we are creating opportunities for young people to explore various career options, learn about the energy industry and secure internships,” said Laurice Arroyo, Assistant General Counsel, National Grid.

“Emmis Communications and Hot 97, WBLS and WLIB are proud to be affiliated with the launch of CareerReady NYC. We recognize the importance of being an actively engaged employer advocate for future generations by providing workplace learning opportunities in our organization. We have a vested interest in helping to identify and contribute to solid programs that offer a framework for future stars in the workforce. We look forward to the success of the CareerReady NYC experience,” said Patricia Robinson, Director of Operations at Emmis Communications.

“The Office for Diversity & Inclusion of the New York City Bar Association is proud to partner with CareerReady NYC to provide younger New Yorkers access to competitive and life-changing career opportunities. Our Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program is a complementary conduit to engage New York City public high school students of color who are interested in the legal profession, and to build a legal workforce that represents all New Yorkers,” said Deborah Martin Owens, Executive Director, Office for Diversity & Inclusion, New York City Bar Association.

“Building talent pipelines that connect New York City students with employment opportunities and employers with talent is essential to creating inclusive economic growth,” said Abby Jo Sigal, CEO of HERE to HERE. “CareerReady NYC creates a framework that encourages these critical connections. We are proud to work with the Mayor’s office, DOE, CUNY, employers, and the wide variety of stakeholders critical to advancing our shared goal of career success for New York City students.”

“Real work opportunities are an essential way for students to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to succeed after high school. Actively opening doors so that students can explore different careers, gain work experience while in high school, and choose a path after high school that fits them is critical to improving current, inequitable postsecondary outcomes. New Visions supports the ambitious goals of CareerReady NYC and looks forward to partnering on this effort,” said Mark Dunetz, President, New Visions for Public Schools.

“We know that engaging in career exploration early and often fuels students’ passions, gives them a clear sense of purpose for the future and significantly increases their chances for college attainment. ExpandED is thrilled that the City is taking this next big, bold step to ensure that young people are equipped with the tools they need to be successful, life-long learners. Along with our colleagues in the youth development field, we are excited to propel change forward in partnership with schools, employers and higher education,” said Jane Martínez Dowling, President & CEO, ExpandED Schools.

CareerReady NYC is a critical component of moving toward a fairer, more equitable New York City. #DegreesNYC recognizes that career preparation must be embedded throughout all levels of education and career exposure and readiness must be part of any quality secondary or postsecondary credential. In this spirit, #DegreesNYC commends CareerReady NYC on their goals and the work they are doing to align public resources to support young people,” said Judith Lorimer, Director of Goddard Riverside Options Center and core partner in #DegreesNYC.

“With today’s rising generation needing more education and skills to compete in a rapidly changing economy, it’s critical that New York City’s public talent pipeline is working in harmony to ensure that young adults are prepared and that employers have access to the talent they need. For the 118,000 young adults who are out-of-school and out-of-work, intervening earlier with career readiness and work based learning experiences is a critical first step to ensuring equitable access to the economic life of New York City,” said Kevin Stump, Vice President of Policy, Communications, and In-School Practice at JobsFirstNYC.

The NYC Center for Youth Employment (CYE) was launched in 2015 to expand, improve, and align publicly funded programs that help young New Yorkers build skills, gain experience, explore potential career paths, and prepare for success in the world of work. In partnership with stakeholders in City government, the private sector, philanthropy, and the provider community, CYE provides advocacy, capacity and resource support, and subject matter expertise within New York City’s youth workforce ecosystem. Sitting within the Mayor’s Office, CYE coordinates classroom education, career exploration, work readiness, and personal development to provide young New Yorkers with the tools they need to build the lives they want.

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