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PHI Founder Steven Dawson Selected for NYC Workforce Development Task Force

May 28, 2014

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on May 20 the formation of a new task force to lead a citywide workforce initiative to help workers develop the necessary skills to get good paying jobs in fast-growing careers.

The Jobs for New Yorkers Task Force is comprised of 30 members who represent a “balance of ‘supply’ and ‘demand’ and represent millions of employees, union members, students, and low-income New Yorkers,” a statement from the mayor’s office says.

PHI Founder and Strategic Advisor Steven Dawson was selected to be on the task force.

“‘Jobs for New Yorkers’ will play a key role in furthering the administration’s efforts to create more opportunity and fundamentally shift our workforce and education system to focus on quality, well-paying jobs that support families,” de Blasio said in the statement.

“With this task force, we are going to harness the experience, knowledge, and expertise from this diverse group of business, education, and community leaders to expand opportunity for more hardworking New Yorkers,” he continued.

The task force is charged with providing recommendations on how the city can:

  • Better integrate the $500 million investment in workforce programs and education resources to serve the unemployed and under-employed;
  • Combine economic development strategies with workforce development initiatives to allow more New Yorkers access to quality employment in industries where the city makes investments;
  • Address the skill gaps for low-wage workers by creating training programs that teach skills specifically geared to what today’s companies need; and
  • Ensure that local employers seek, find, and hire talent from the five boroughs.

The task force will deliver a paper with its recommendations this fall.

Raise the Floor

Dawson was a co-chair, with David LaGreca of VCG Governance Matters, of the New York City Workforce Strategy Group, which offered perspectives on reshaping the city’s workforce development system and produced Re-Envisioning the New York City Workforce System (pdf), a March 2013 report. This report will be used as a resource by the Jobs for the Future task force.

Dawson will recommend that workforce stakeholders not only foster opportunities for career development, but also collaborate in raising the floor for direct-care workers, and entry-level staff in other sectors.

— by Deane Beebe

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