Mayor Bloomberg Announces $24 Million Expansion of Jobs-plus Program to New York City Housing Authority Residents in All Five Boroughs

October 18, 2013

New Annual Investment Brings Employment Resources to 23 NYCHA Developments as Part of the Young Men’s Initiative

Program Aims to Place More than 4,400 NYCHA Residents in Jobs Over Three Years

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs, Human Resources Administration Commissioner Robert Doar, New York City Housing Authority Chairman John B. Rhea, Center for Economic Opportunity Executive Director Kristin Morse and Young Men’s Initiative Director Jahmani Hylton today announced an $8 million annual investment for the next three years to expand Jobs-Plus, a program that connects public housing residents with employment, education and financial empowerment services. Located on site or nearby NYCHA facilities, Jobs-Plus will now serve a total of 23 NYCHA developments across all five boroughs. As part of the citywide Young Men’s Initiative, over the next three years Jobs-Plus is expected to place more than 4,400 NYCHA residents in jobs while providing thousands more with additional services including financial counseling, education and job retention supports. The expansion represents the largest-ever municipal investment in the nationally recognized program and is a significant part of the Young Men’s Initiative – the City’s comprehensive effort to address disparities between young black and Latino men and their peers.

“Connecting at-risk young people to job opportunities – and helping them to take charge of their futures – is one of the best investments government can make,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The Jobs-Plus model of combining employment services, financial counseling and community support – all near a person’s home – is one of our most promising tools for reducing the racial disparities that have existed for far too long.”

“Our investment in Jobs-Plus reinforces our commitment to removing barriers to economic opportunity and this expansion will support more NYCHA residents as they increase their earning power to support their families,” said Deputy Mayor Gibbs. “Jobs-Plus demonstrates how cross-agency partnerships are at the core of our fight for real solutions to difficult challenges, and we thank our partner agencies for answering this urgent call to action.”

“HRA has developed successful employment programs that connect low income New Yorkers to work in their communities to help them become self-sufficient,” said HRA Commissioner Robert Doar. “Jobs Plus has produced results from day one and we believe it will become an influential force in meeting our goal of moving thousands of people into employment every year.”

“The expansion of Jobs-Plus marks a key milestone in our new approach to better supporting our residents by increasing their income and assets,” said NYCHA Chairman Rhea. “Through our Office of Resident Economic Empowerment and Sustainability, NYCHA has taken an unprecedented, agency-wide focus on resident economic opportunities and outcomes; as well as attracting proven models and resources into public housing communities. We know first-hand that Jobs-Plus makes a real difference in the lives of public housing residents, and we are thrilled to connect thousands more NYCHA residents to these critical economic opportunity services.”

“CEO has consistently looked to identify what works in fighting poverty in New York City, and since 2009 Jobs-Plus has been a testament to that commitment,” said CEO Executive Director Morse. “As this program expands to serve thousands more public housing residents, New Yorkers in all five boroughs will have access to a program with a proven track record of job placement, career training and asset-building.”

“The Young Men’s Initiative is continually seeking new and innovative ways to support New York City’s Black and Latino young men. The expansion of Jobs-Plus represents an opportunity for investment in the potential of our city’s young people,” said YMI Director Jahmani Hylton. “Our goal is to assist a greater number of New Yorkers in accessing jobs, increase their earning potential and contributing to the City’s robust economic environment.”

“As Jobs-Plus expands to connect even more New Yorkers with career resources, we are pleased that the program will continue to be benefit from financial empowerment strategies,” said DCA Commissioner Jonathan Mintz. “We know that inserting professional, one-on-one financial counseling into job placement services will have a ‘supervitamin effect’, boosting both program recipients’ financial security and programmatic goals. Our financial counselors have helped tens of thousands of New Yorkers overcome debt, build savings and become confident in handling their finances. We encourage all New Yorkers who are struggling with debt to call 311 to make an appointment at one of the City's more than 20 Financial Empowerment Centers.”

The YMI expansion brings the total Jobs-Plus investment to $30 million over three years, and connects public housing residents with employment, education and financial empowerment services – all of which are provided on site or nearby targeted NYCHA developments. It consists of three key components aimed at supporting residents’ efforts to get and keep a job, and move toward financial security:

  • Employment Services: Jobs-Plus sites provide residents with career counseling, work readiness training, job search assistance, referrals to and ongoing support for vocational training, GED preparation and support services, and ongoing case management. Tailored approaches are offered for those with a criminal background or limited work experience. Sites also forge relationships with local and citywide businesses, helping to identify and fill their human resource needs; Rent-Based and Other Incentives that “Make Work Pay”: Jobs-Plus educates residents about NYCHA’s Earned Income Disallowance program, which allows qualified residents to increase their earned income from employment without incurring a commensurate increase in rent for a period of time. Financial counseling services also include connections to work supports, advisement and education on child support as well as referrals for child support assistance, and asset-building services;
  • Financial Counseling, Rent-Based and Other Incentives that “Make Work Pay”: Jobs-Plus educates residents about NYCHA’s Earned Income Disallowance program, which allows qualified applicants to increase their earned income from employment without incurring a commensurate increase in rent for a period of time. Onsite one-on-one financial counseling using DCA’s Financial Empowerment Center model is a key feature of the program. Other incentives include connections to work supports, advisement and education on child support, as well as referrals for child support assistance, and asset building services; and
  • Community Support for Work: Jobs-Plus aims to create a “culture of work” with residents by strengthening social ties and engaging local stakeholders in supporting resident advancement, including tapping into local networks to promote employment and encourage residents to become Community Coaches to communicate opportunities offered through the program.

Developed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1998 as part of a seven-year pilot project, the Jobs-Plus program model has been proven to increase both short- and long-term earnings among public housing residents through placement into jobs and career building. Tested in six cities by the social research firm MDRC, Jobs-Plus was proven to increase residents’ earnings by an average of 16 percent – gains that were maintained even three years after the pilot ended in 2004. In 2009, CEO in partnership with HRA, NYCHA and CUNY piloted the City’s first Jobs-Plus site at Jefferson Houses in East Harlem, which secured more than 500 job placements for residents over three years and connected hundreds more to education and training services.

This successful New York City pilot led CEO and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City to expand Jobs-Plus to the South Bronx – with federal funding and in partnership with BronxWorks – to residents of Betances, East 152nd Street–Courtlandt Avenue and Moore Houses.

The $24 million expansion from YMI over three years brings Jobs-Plus services to NYCHA residents in all five boroughs, serving: Clason Point Gardens, Mill Brook, Monroe, and Sack Wern Houses in the Bronx; Armstrong I and II, Brownsville, Lafayette, Marcy, and Van Dyke I Houses in Brooklyn; Wald and Riis II Houses in Manhattan; Astoria Houses in Queens; and Mariner’s Harbor, Stapleton, Todt Hill, South Beach, West Brighton I, and Richmond Terrace Houses in Staten Island.

The Jobs-Plus expansion represents a city-wide collaboration and incorporates key elements of the City’s ongoing successful employment programs such as HRA’s Back to Work program, Parks Opportunity Program, and the Work Experience Program; NYCHA’s Office of Resident Economic Empowerment and Sustainability (REES); DCA’s Office of Financial Empowerment; and SBS’s Workforce1 Career Centers. The expansion is being supported through City funds as part of the Young Men’s Initiative. In addition, CEO is supporting BronxWorks as part of the federal Social Innovation Fund grant initiative. Jobs-Plus at Jefferson Houses is supported by HRA and has received additional support from Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, while BronxWorks is supported by the federal Corporation for National and Community Service, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Open Society Foundations, Morgan Stanley Private Bank and Tiger Foundation.

About the Young Men’s Initiative

The Young Men’s Initiative (YMI), the nation’s most comprehensive effort to tackle the broad disparities slowing the advancement of Black and Latino young men, was launched by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in August 2011. This cross-agency enterprise is the culmination of 18 months of work that began when the Mayor committed to finding new ways to tackle the crisis affecting young Black and Latino men in New York City. Through an innovative public-private partnership, the City is investing more than $127 million over a three year period, to support new programs and policies that are designed to address disparities between young Black and Latino men and their peers across numerous outcomes related to education, health, employment, and the criminal justice system. These programs and policies will break down barriers to success and help young men achieve their professional, educational, and personal goals. YMI and the Center for Economic Opportunity are responsible for overseeing the implementation of programs within YMI. YMI is funded through a combination of city funding and support from Open Society Foundations and Bloomberg Philanthropies through grants to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the Fund for Public Schools.

Marc La Vorgna / Samantha Levine

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Corey Chambliss

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Sheila Stainback

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