City expanding successful Jobs-plus program to thousands more NYCHA residents, offering new on-site mental health services
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Three new Jobs-Plus sites to open and 7 existing sites expanding, serving 17 additional NYCHA developments with critical employment services and mental health support through ThriveNYC.
Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity announces evaluation findings that show Jobs-Plus members increase level of earnings and employment.
NEW YORK – The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announced today the City has released a request for proposals to add three new Jobs-Plus sites as well as expand the reach of seven existing sites, increasing the citywide total of NYCHA developments served by the Jobs-Plus program from 27 to 44. The expansion comes as the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity (NYC Opportunity) announced evaluation findings from the Urban Institute showing that New York City’s Jobs-Plus program increases employment and earnings for participants. Jobs-Plus has connected nearly 8,500 NYCHA residents with job placements since 2013.
According to the Urban Institute analysis of the Jobs-Plus program, New Yorkers participating in the Jobs-Plus program for one year are 72 percent more likely to be employed and earned 32 percent more than those who had not yet joined the program.
Building on these promising findings, the City, through ThriveNYC, will also invest $2.5 million per year to expand the evidence-driven Connections to Care program to all 10 sites, bringing mental health support to 6,000 Jobs-Plus participants per year.
“The majority of Jobs-Plus participants are hardworking women struggling to provide for their families,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. “Since 2013, Jobs-Plus has successfully helped thousands of New Yorkers, and we’re excited to welcome more to the program. For NYCHA residents, an average increase of $1,500 in annual salary, combined with wraparound services, directly translates into improved opportunities for their families and long-term prosperity.”
“With the expansion of Jobs-Plus, we have taken a decisive step in the right direction,” said J. Phillip Thompson, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives. “Research proves this program has helped thousands of NYCHA residents economically, and the addition of the mental health supports will only further their success. I’m proud that we’re able to expand the program, increasing both individual and community level economic gains across the City.“
“Helping more NYCHA families find stable footing for their future, Jobs-Plus has successfully placed nearly 8,500 residents into jobs,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Greg Russ. “Thanks to the collaboration of HRA and our partners, the Authority is excited the program will expand to assist additional residents in Brooklyn and Queens, providing on the ground employment, financial and support services in their community.”
Across the City, most working-age NYCHA residents earn below the average median income of New York City. According to new analysis from the Urban Institute, Jobs-Plus is a viable strategy to enhance earnings and sustained employment for NYCHA residents:
- Higher earnings: Jobs-Plus increased participants’ average quarterly earnings by $497 (from $1,537 to $2,034, a 32 percent increase)
- Increased employment:Jobs-Plus increased participants’ average employment rate by 12 percentage points (from 16.7 percent to 28.7 percent) after joining the program.
- Better experience: Participants gave positive reviews to the personalized approach of Jobs-Plus, compared to other workforce programs, including the staff’s responsiveness, dedication, and motivation tactics, and the availability of one-on-one assistance.
“The Jobs-Plus program has a proven record of effectively connecting New Yorkers with job opportunities tailored to their needs, helping them find and build career paths in the process,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “These positive findings reinforce our commitment to expanding this successful program, extending these opportunities to thousands more hard-working New Yorkers.“
“Jobs-Plus is rooted in evidence about what works, the insights and experiences of the communities it serves, and the commitment of City agencies to work together,” said Matthew Klein, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity. “We are pleased by these latest findings of positive results, grateful for the hard work that produced them, and excited to continue to support the partnership as we grow Jobs-Plus and broaden its services.”
“ThriveNYC is committed to bringing new and innovative mental health support wherever it is needed. With this investment, we have a unique opportunity to integrate two evidence-driven strategies – training frontline employees to provide mental health support through Connections to Care and JobsPlus – and enhance our support for NYCHA residents,” said Susan Herman, Director of the Mayor’s Office of ThriveNYC.
“Workforce training programs are pivotal to ensuring New York’s economy remains solid,” said James Patchett, New York City Economic Development Corporation President and CEO. “Jobs-Plus has proven to bridge a gap that creates ladders to good-paying jobs and strengthens local communities. The expansion of the program into western Queens will complement the City’s investments in the neighborhood and continue to give underrepresented New Yorkers the resources they need to thrive.”
“We are excited that through this Jobs-Plus expansion, we will be able to bring financial counseling to even more workers and job seekers in New York City,” said Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “Free professional, one-on-one financial counseling can help participants reach personal financial goals faster, help manage their budgets, improve their credit and increase their savings—it is a key component to making work pay.”
The Jobs-Plus Collaborative is an interagency partnership between the Human Resources Administration (HRA), New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), Young Men’s Initiative (YMI), NYC Opportunity, and the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection’s Office of Financial Empowerment, designed to support NYCHA residents in obtaining employment opportunities and building income. The Jobs-Plus Collaborative has already successfully grown the program from one site at inception to ten sites today, which currently serve 27 NYCHA developments, making nearly 8,500 placements into employment opportunities for Jobs-Plus members since 2013.
The program has three main components: (1) Employment and career development services for residents with varying skillsets and levels of job-readiness; (2) Financial counseling, asset-building services and HUD rent incentives that promote work and savings; and (3) Neighbor-to-neighbor community organizing that leverages and strengthens social ties amongst residents to support work.
Through the RFP released this week, seven existing Jobs-Plus sites will expand their coverage to serve eight additional NYCHA developments, while three new Jobs-Plus sites will open in Brownsville, Brooklyn and Queensbridge and Woodside, Queens, newly serving nine different NYCHA developments. As a result, the number of NYCHA developments served by the Jobs-Plus program will increase by 17, from 27 to 44 developments served.
The RFP released today also includes a $2.5 million annual investment that will bring the evidence-driven Connections to Care (C2C) program to all Jobs-Plus sites for the first time. C2C trains employees at participating organizations to act as front-line responders to screen their clients for mental health needs, offer direct support when appropriate, and link to local health providers for further care if needed. C2C is an innovative partnership between community-based organizations (in this case, Jobs-Plus sites), ThriveNYC, NYC Opportunity, the Mayor’s Fund and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. C2C, currently operating at 14 community-based organizations, has provided mental health support to 34,000 people since launching in 2016. As one indicator of success, over 70 percent of clients referred through this program to formal mental health support show up for their first appointment.
Through continued operation and expansion of the Jobs-Plus program, New York City is bringing additional services to high-need neighborhoods, leveraging existing resources, and mobilizing stakeholders (residents, community based organizations, and City agencies), who each bring diverse and critical capabilities and capacities, to help NYCHA residents in their achievement of long-term success.
About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
NYCHA’s mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. Over 390,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 316 public housing developments and PACT/RAD developments formerly managed by NYCHA around the five boroughs. Over 190,000 receive subsidized rental assistance in private homes through the NYCHA-administered Section 8 Leased Housing Program. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/nycha, and for regular updates on NYCHA news and services, connect with us via www.facebook.com/NYCHA and www.twitter.com/NYCHA.
About the Department of Social Services (DSS)
The Department of Social Services, comprised of the Human Resources Administration (HRA) and the Department of Homeless Services (DHS), serves more than three million New Yorkers annually through a broad range of services that aim to address poverty, income inequality, and prevent homelessness. In April 2016, following a comprehensive review of the City’s homelessness policies, Mayor de Blasio announced a major restructuring of homeless services in New York City and appointed Commissioner Steven Banks to lead the Department of Social Services, which integrated HRA and the Department of Homeless Services under a joint management structure. HRA serves over 3 million New Yorkers through the administration of more than 12 major public assistance programs with 15,000 employees. DHS oversees a broad network of shelters and services with 2,000 employees, and is dedicated to helping New Yorkers experiencing homelessness get back on their feet as quickly as possible. DSS is central in implementing Mayor de Blasio’s agenda to expand opportunity for more New Yorkers, help homeless New Yorkers secure stable housing, address income inequality, and ensure that New Yorkers receive the benefits and assistance to which they are entitled.
About the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity
The Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity (NYC Opportunity) uses evidence and innovation to reduce poverty and increase equity. It advances research, data and design in the City’s program and policy development, service delivery, and budget decisions. Its work includes analyzing existing anti-poverty approaches, developing new interventions, facilitating the sharing of data across City agencies, and rigorously assessing the impact of key initiatives. NYC Opportunity manages a discrete fund and works collaboratively with City agencies to design, test and oversee new programs and digital products. It also produces research and analysis of poverty and social conditions, including its influential annual Poverty Measure, which provides a more accurate and comprehensive picture of poverty in New York City than the federal rate. Part of the Mayor’s Office of Operations, NYC Opportunity is active in supporting the de Blasio administration’s priority to make equity a core governing principle across all agencies.
About the Mayor’s Office of ThriveNYC
The overarching aim of the new Mayoral Office of ThriveNYC is to ensure that every New Yorker who needs mental health support has access to it, where and when they need it. The Office addresses needs that have gone unmet by traditional services and pilots innovative strategies. This includes new services for historically underserved special populations, expanding the range of mental health support available to New Yorkers, and enhancing mental health equity across the city. The Office works with City agencies and strategic partners to implement Thrive’s programs, maximize their effectiveness and ensure sustainability.
About the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP)
NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) protects and enhances the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities. DCWP licenses more than 75,000 businesses in more than 50 industries and enforces key consumer protection, licensing, and workplace laws that apply to countless more. By supporting businesses through equitable enforcement and access to resources and, by helping to resolve complaints, DCWP protects the marketplace from predatory practices and strives to create a culture of compliance. Through its community outreach and the work of its offices of Financial Empowerment and Labor Policy & Standards, DCWP empowers consumers and working families by providing the tools and resources they need to be educated consumers and to achieve financial health and work-life balance. DCWP also conducts research and advocates for public policy that furthers its work to support New York City’s communities. For more information about DCWP and its work, call 311 or visit DCWP at nyc.gov/dcwp or on its social media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.