A new program to train low-income New Yorkers for jobs in the affordable housing sector has been launched.
Enterprise Community Partners and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) awarded a grant to Brooklyn Workforce Innovations (BWI), The HOPE Program (HOPE), and New York City College of Technology (City Tech) to designthe rogram through their Housing Career Pathways initiative.
The workforce development providers, in partnership with a labor market research team from the City University of New York (CUNY) and an advisory board of housing providers and government agencies, will develop a program to train and connect low-income individuals in New York City to high-quality, permanent jobs in affordable housing development, management, and preservation.
“New York’s affordable housing industry is a powerful economic engine for the city, and low-income New Yorkers who live in affordable homes should be able to access the jobs it creates,” said Judi Kende, vice president and New York market leader, Enterprise.
“We are excited to work with BWI, HOPE, City Tech, and our partners at HPD to create a system for individuals to build careers in the industry and ensure that communities home to affordable housing developments can capitalize on the economic opportunities they bring.”
The grantees will work with Enterprise and HPD to design the model program, which includes creating an implementation plan, evaluation approach, and budget for the program by the end of 2019.
They will also develop a template for a recruitment and engagement strategy, a skills training curriculum based on the anticipated job pipeline, and placement, retention and career advancement strategies. The advisory board will oversee program design to ensure it meets the needs of both participants and employers.
The advisory board includes CAMBA, Shinda Management and CB Emmanuel, MBD Community Housing Corporation, WHEDCO, Phipps Houses, Wavecrest Management, Lemle & Wolff, L&M Development Partners, Covington Realty, Bronx Pro Group, Artimus, Asian Americans for Equality, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, NYCHA, and The Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity.
“Our collaborations with our dedicated partners allow for expanded access to the many opportunities affordable housing creates, from housing to employment. Through this initiative we look forward to empowering low-income New Yorkers, and working with our development and construction partners to create a pathway to job opportunities,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “I would like to thank Enterprise and our own Economic Opportunity staff for their hard work in getting this program off the ground.”
The Housing Career Pathways”initiative will help low-income New Yorkers, particularly those living in neighborhoods with affordable housing developments, build the skills necessary to prepare for and access these jobs. Potential jobs, with the opportunity for future career growth, include resident liaisons or relocation assistants, assistant development project managers, income certification and compliance assistants, legal coordinators, office managers, and human resource assistants.
Enterprise, in partnership with HPD, is convening the workforce development and housing provider partners to collaboratively design a program that both prepares participants for careers in affordable housing and meets the needs of affordable housing organizations. Following the design period, the program is anticipated to be piloted by Enterprise in partnership with HPD with the intention of eventually scaling the model citywide.
“Brooklyn Workforce Innovations has 20 years of experience bridging employment skills gaps, and we are excited to bring that to bear alongside such thoughtful and influential housing and workforce leaders during the design phase of this initiative,” said Aaron Shiffman, executive director, BWI.
“Our goal is to find ways to leverage affordable housing growth such that it creates upwardly-mobile career opportunities for low-income New Yorkers.”