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REPORT: NYC Jobs Task Force Addresses City’s Workforce-Development Issues

December 11, 2014

A report by a New York City workforce-development task force highlights the importance of investing in “sector-focused” strategies, job quality redesign, and targeted skill-building efforts in order to create both income stability and career opportunities for New Yorkers.

The report, entitled “Career Pathways: One City Working Together,” was prepared by the Jobs for New Yorkers Task Force and released on November 21.

The task force’s goals include promoting income stability, career advancement, and job mobility to ensure that more New Yorkers secure better jobs. It also aims to reverse a two-decade trend in which New York’s workforce system “has shifted away from job training to focus almost exclusively on job placement without any strategic focus on high-value economic sectors,” such as health care.

To achieve these goals, the task force addressed three “key policy areas”:

  • Building skills employers seek,
  • Improving job quality, and
  • Increasing system and policy coordination.

Among the task force’s numerous recommendations is the implementation of sector-based “Industry Partnerships”: teams of industry stakeholders — including employers, organized labor, and workforce development organizations — that “will work to determine the skills and qualifications that employers need, and continuously upgrade curricula, training, and credential attainment programs to reflect local market conditions.”

Within many of the chosen sectors, including healthcare, food service, and retail, the report explicitly called for “raise the floor” strategies to help businesses redesign frontline jobs, benefiting both workers and employers.

In the report, PHI Founder and Strategic Advisor Steven Dawson, one of the 30 members of the task force, says that an effective Industry Partnership “can support employers on raising job quality, ultimately benefiting the strength of the whole organization.”

— by Matthew Ozga

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