Posts Tagged ‘South Bronx’

Organizations in the South Bronx are Expanding Workforce Development Systems to Improve Youth Employment

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

In the South Bronx, 23 percent of youth are out of school and out of work. Among those working, half are employed in low-paying jobs. To change the trajectory for these learners, JPMorgan Chase & Co. has invested in four initiatives working to increase meaningful work-based learning opportunities for South Bronx students.  Each initiative has its own set of goals focused on specific outcomes, but all are collectively working towards creating equitable systems change so that more learners have access to living-wage career pathways.

One of those initiatives is Consortium for Worker Education (CWE) New York Alliance for Transport and Logistics Advancement Services Initiative (NYATLAS), a private, non-profit agency that provides industry-specific training and employment services to 60,000 New Yorkers a year. CWE estimates that the New York City metropolitan area has 50,000-60,000 jobs in the public transportation sector, 1,000 of which are entry-level and have a career ladder.

CWE is working to ensure learners have the real-world skills employers are seeking by creating a variety of courses that can be completed in four-ten weeks with a career waiting at the completion of the coursework.  CWE is making it a priority to remove barriers to access to these programs, for example, they have helped nearly 500 students obtain driver’s license necessary to participate in these careers.

Improving access to the health care industry is the goal of the New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare (NYACH) Ready for Healthcare Initiative. It is an industry partnership focused on building an effective, integrated and accessible health care workforce development ecosystem in New York City. NYACH is working with the New York City Department of Education to redesign and update the Healthcare Core Curriculum currently in use at 13 Career Technical Education (CTE) programs across the city.

Current programming focuses on meaningful exposure to careers and industry leaders and includes a guest speaker series, an expo event, a mentorship program and employer site visits. Participants are gaining an understanding of the vast opportunities available in the healthcare industry. The work will continue in fall 2019 with internships for those aspiring to be medical assistants and certified nursing assistants.

Using data to drive improvement is the goal of the third initiative, New Visions for Public Schools’ Data Infrastructure for South Bronx. The nonprofit school support intermediary organization serves more than 350 schools throughout New York City. Their main service is a technology they have designed called the New Visions Data Portal.

The portal has tools to capture student progress to empower school staff and workforce partners by providing them with critical information to support decisions about each student’s path to success. The results are clear: New Visions’ core network of 70 New York City public high schools and 10 New Visions public charter schools surpassed a graduation rate of 84 percent in 2018, on par with the national high school graduation rate.

The final initiative, Per Scholas, is a national nonprofit that provides tuition-free training and professional development to help unemployed or under-employed adults move into careers as technology professionals. With the investment from JPMorgan Chase & Co., Per Scholas is focusing on ensuring learners receive support while still in high school.

 In the early stages of the work, Per Scholas is engaging with employers to identify entry-level skills and tasks to construct simulated tasks that teachers can execute in their classrooms. They are designing simulated work-based learning curriculum modules that will be piloted in three to five Bronx high schools with 150 students and 10 instructors. Additionally, they plan to disseminate work-based learning curriculum modules to high schools to inform career readiness coursework.

 “We know the surest way to expand access to opportunity is to equip people with the skills needed to compete for well-paying, in-demand jobs that are available today and tomorrow,” said Sarah Steinberg, Program Officer, JPMorgan Chase. “That’s why we are supporting communities around the world to design and implement innovative new approaches to career education that prepare young people to enter the workforce with the skills, experiences, and credentials they need to succeed in good careers in growing industries.”

In 2017, JPMorgan Chase invested $6 million as part of the New Skills for Youth initiative to address equity gaps and to strengthen and expand workforce development systems in the South Bronx. All four initiatives will continue to collectively work toward systemic change and meet quarterly to share updates and brainstorm ideas to address any challenges.

The South Bronx is a JPMorgan Chase & Co. New Skills for Youth Innovation Site aiming to improve career pathways for learners. This snapshot is part of a series documenting the progress of the local investments from across the globe that aim to identify and implement the most promising ideas in career education, with a special focus on communities with the greatest needs. Learn more about the innovations sites here.

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