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The Role of a Workforce Development Intermediary in Building a Coordinated System for Disconnected Young Adults. Presented By Maricela Brea, Bret Halverson with Randolph Peers. Background. Lack of access of disconnected young adults (DYA) to work is not a recent phenomenon in NYC.
Maricela Brea, Bret Halverson with Randolph Peers
While a number of efforts were made to address the issue, too often the focus has been on the scale of the problem rather than on innovative solutions.
223,000 disconnected young adults in NYC---higher proportion of young people than in any other major urban area.
A number of exemplary community-based programs exist but the quality of young adult services is not what it should be.
At each step of the way, young people face new barriers, drop out, and failure becomes cumulative.
The rationale was that intermediaries have been very successful in other fields (e.g., community development, public education) in raising large amounts of funding, distributing support for innovative new approaches and communicating with investors and youth intermediaries have been successful in other cities (e.g., Philadelphia, Boston, Los Angeles) in yielding promising systemic results.
The business plan prepared by David LaGreca found that currently no neutral, independent, organizing mechanism exists in NYC to work across the public/private landscape for supporting more effective private and public investment, greater employer involvement, improving provider quality, spreading the best approaches, or driving out those programs that are not strong. There is no “market maker” to help rationalize what is an irrational, disjointed, and too often mediocre system.
JobsFirstNYC was created in July 2006, with lead funding from the Clark and Tiger Foundations, to serve as a neutral intermediary to champion the workforce needs of DYA. JobsFirstNYC is based on a belief that current services for DYA do not work very well because they are undercapitalized, flawed in their design and often not well delivered. As a result a very different strategy is needed in NYC if outcomes are to be improved significantly. It seeks to address weaknesses in current services provided to DYA in NYC through a powerful convening function.
The mission of JobsFirstNYC is to improve the system for these disconnected youth by working to help bring—effectively and efficiently--all available community, corporate,, human, organization, private and public resources to accelerate the connecting of out-of-school and out-of-work young adults with the economic life of New York City.
The work is accomplished by convening the myriad players involved in providing and funding services to this young adult population, coordinating and rationalizing the existing system, planning for the development of the signature programs to meet the needs of these young adults, and raising resources for new large scale initiatives.