The Task Force made recommendations in three key policy areas:
- building skills employers seek;
- improving job quality, and
- increasing system and policy coordination.
The City is committed to implementing these recommendations and establishing a workforce system that supports upward income mobility and better job quality within a coordinated, data-driven infrastructure.
Building Skills Employers Seek
The workforce system will significantly expand its capacity to provide job-relevant skills and education. The City will implement two interrelated and mutually-dependent strategies to achieve this: Industry Partnerships and Career Pathways.
- Industry Partnerships will be comprised of teams of industry experts focused on addressing mismatches between labor market supply and demand in six economic sectors. To define and fulfill labor demand in their respective sectors, Industry Partnerships will establish ongoing "feedback loops," or a platform for regular interaction with employers. Industry Partnerships 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. Industry Partnerships will collaborate with organized labor, educational institutions, service providers, philanthropy, and City agencies to develop workforce development strategies and mobilize resources in their respective sectors.
- Career Pathways will be a new system-wide framework that aligns education and training with specific advancement opportunities for a broad range of jobseekers. All agencies overseeing workforce development programs will reorient their services toward career progression instead of stopping at job placement. This effort will include sector-focused bridge programs, skills training, job-relevant curricula, and work-based learning opportunities.
The City will adopt the following recommendations to help New Yorkers build the skills that employers seek:
- Recommendation 1: Launch or expand Industry Partnerships with real-time feedback loops in six sectors: healthcare, technology, industrial/ manufacturing, and construction, which will focus on training more New Yorkers for jobs with career potential, and retail and food service, which will focus on improving the quality of low-wage occupations.
- Recommendation 2: Establish Career Pathways as the framework for the City's workforce system.
- Recommendation 3: Invest $60 million annually by 2020 in bridge programs that prepare low-skill jobseekers for entry-level work and middle-skill job training.
- Recommendation 4: Triple the City's training investment to $100 million annually by 2020 in career-track, middle-skill occupations, including greater support for incumbent workers who are not getting ahead.
- Recommendation 5: Improve and expand CTE and college preparedness programs, adjust CUNY's alternative credit policy, and invest in career counseling to increase educational persistence and better support students' long-term employment prospects.
- Recommendation 6: Increase work-based learning opportunities for youth and high-need jobseekers.
Improving Job Quality
In addition to enabling income mobility by investing in skill development, the City will take measures to support the economic stability of New Yorkers in lower-wage jobs. Building on recently passed Living Wage and Paid Sick Leave legislation, the workforce system will pursue a "raise the floor" strategy that rewards good business practices and promotes a baseline level of stability for low-wage workers.
The City will adopt the following recommendations to improve job quality:
- Recommendation 7: Create a standard that recognizes high-road employers who have good business practices, with the goal of assessing at least 500 local businesses by the end of 2015.
- Recommendation 8: Improve the conditions of low-wage work by expanding access to financial empowerment resources in partnership with at least 100 employers and pursuing legislative changes such as increasing the minimum wage.
Increasing System and Policy Coordination
New York City's economic development investments and contracts must work in tandem with training and employment services to deliver value not only for the entities that benefit from public subsidies, but for jobseekers and incumbent workers as well. Accordingly, the multiple agencies that administer workforce programs must also function cohesively, with shared metrics, definitions, requirements, processes, and data systems.
The City will adopt the following recommendations to increase system and policy coordination:
- Recommendation 9: Maximize local job opportunities through the City's contracts and economic development investments by establishing a "First Source" hiring process and enforcing targeted hiring provisions in social service contracts.
- Recommendation 10: Reimburse workforce agencies on the basis of job quality instead of the quantity of job placements by aligning service providers under a system-wide data infrastructure that measures job outcomes such as full-time work, wage growth, and job continuity.