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Mayor Adams launches New York City workforce development council to boost career opportunities, economic equity

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the launch of the New York City Workforce Development Council, a group of leaders from the business community, educational institutions, unions, and training providers who will help develop and sustain strategies that will aid New Yorkers in finding family-sustaining careers and help employers tap the talent they need to succeed.

Chaired by Rob Speyer, CEO of Tishman Speyer, the new advisory board will be comprised of over 30 external stakeholders committed to rebuilding and strengthening the city’s talent and workforce development system for a post-pandemic labor market.

The Workforce Development Council will make recommendations to the Mayor’s Office of Talent and Workforce Development (NYC Talent) and the New York City Workforce Development Board, which is responsible for stewarding between $60 million and $100 million in annual federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funding.

Additionally, the Adams administration is today releasing two Requests for Proposals to advance its moonshot goal of connecting 30,000 New Yorkers to apprenticeships by the year 2030, a key commitment of Mayor Adams’ 2023 State of the City Address. An initial investment of $3.5 million — from Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funding — will identify potential private-sector and non-profit partners that are interested in developing new apprenticeship programs and transforming existing talent development initiatives into structured apprenticeships.

“While our city has recovered all of the private-sector jobs lost during the pandemic, our recovery has not benefitted every New Yorker equitably. To change this, we need partners from every corner of our city to help build an economy with real pathways to family-sustaining careers,” said Mayor Adams.

“The Workforce Development Council will tap expertise from business leaders, like Rob Speyer and dozens of others from across our city, to develop strategies and partnerships that will lead to real opportunities for New Yorkers. Additionally, our administration is investing millions in the nonprofits, unions, and other employers that will invest in our young people through apprenticeships.”

“I am proud to serve as the inaugural chair of the New York City Workforce Development Council,” said Rob Speyer, CEO, Tishman Speyer. “The Workforce Development Council’s work will build on Mayor Adams’ remarkable track record for private-sector job creation. I look forward to collaborating with my fellow members on this council to identify the most promising career paths for New Yorkers today and tomorrow.”

“The Workforce Development Council is an example of how the Adams administration is preparing the next generation of New Yorkers for the workforce,” said First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. “For too long, communities have been excluded from the tremendous economic growth that New York has experienced. Our moonshot goal of connecting 30,000 New Yorkers to apprenticeships is an important step in changing that reality — and can only be done through partnership with the private sector. This Workforce Development Council, with its breadth of leadership and expertise, is a great example of how public private partnerships really come together to support all New Yorkers.”

“Since we released our ‘Pathways to an Inclusive Economy’ blueprint, this administration has been focused on delivering on our promises to connect more New Yorkers to jobs,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “With today’s announcement, we will strengthen the city’s Workforce Development Board and Workforce Development Council through increased private-sector leadership and will expand access to apprenticeships by making $3.5 million in funding available to nonprofits, employers, labor unions, and training providers. Thank you to leaders from across the city, including new Workforce Development Council Chair Rob Speyer, for your partnership in meeting these commitments.”

“This is a big win for our city’s future that has been years in the making. The New York City Workforce Development Council, led by its inaugural Chair Rob Speyer, brings together the city’s leading public and private sector stakeholders to develop robust talent pipelines so employers can hire the talent they need to thrive and New Yorkers, especially from economically-disadvantaged communities, can benefit from career success,” said Abby Jo Sigal, executive director, NYC Talent. “The launch of the Workforce Development Council and the two apprenticeship RFPs further solidifies the Adams administration’s commitment to placing talent at the center of the city’s economic strategy to realize an inclusive economy where prosperity is widely shared.”

The launch of the Workforce Development Council fulfills another key recommendation of the Adams administration’s Future of Workers Task Force, which created “Pathways to an Inclusive Economy: An Action Plan for Young Adult Career Success,” a blueprint to bolster the city’s talent ecosystem. This new council and the creation of new apprenticeship opportunities also reflect Mayor Adams’ commitment to building an equitable and future-focused economy for working-class New Yorkers. To further this goal, the administration recently launched “Jobs NYC,” a multi-pronged effort to reduce barriers to economic opportunities and deliver workforce development services directly to communities across the five boroughs that are experiencing high unemployment. Earlier this year, Mayor Adams unveiled a first-of-its-kind plan to grow the city’s green economy and best position New Yorkers to benefit from the nearly 400,000 projected ‘green-collar’ jobs in New York City by 2040.

About Rob Speyer

Rob Speyer, CEO of Tishman Speyer, will serve as the inaugural chair of the Workforce Development Council. Rob Speyer has led the firm’s global expansion and diversification strategy, growing its assets under management to more than $65 billion and launching new business lines including housing, industrial, life science and venture investing. He is the chairman of the advisory board of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, first appointed by Mayor Bloomberg in 2006, reappointed by Mayor de Blasio in 2014, and most recently, reappointed by Mayor Adams. He is also co-chair of the Partnership for New York City and on the New York Jobs CEO Council.

“As both a school system and as a city, we are working to ensure bold futures for all New Yorkers,” said New York City Public Schools Chancellor David C. Banks. “There is tremendous talent in this town, and it requires partnership to provide opportunities to the next generation of leaders. These partnerships across the private sector and our city agencies will impact our communities for years to come.”

“The launch of the New York City Workforce Development Council is a milestone in our mission to unlock the economic potential of all New Yorkers,” said New York City Small Business Services Commissioner Kevin D. Kim. “By bringing together business leaders, educators, and unions, the Workforce Development Council is poised to take our city’s world-class talent to the next level and help train and hire the workers that will build the ‘City of Yes.’ I want to congratulate the new chair, Rob Speyer, and am excited to see what SBS and this new council can accomplish by working together.”

“In convening this new Workforce Development Council and releasing RFPs to create and support vital apprenticeship programs, Mayor Adams is again affirming his commitment to New York City’s working class by ensuring there are ample opportunities for all New Yorkers to obtain high-quality, good-paying jobs and economic stability,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Molly Wasow Park. “We congratulate Rob Speyer on his appointment and look forward to working alongside the Workforce Development Council and our agency partners to reduce barriers to employment and connect our clients to gainful employment through the New York City Human Resources Administration’s Career Services.”

“As the agency that oversees the Summer Youth Employment Program, Ladders for Leaders, Work, Learn & Grow, and other workforce initiatives, we are excited about this new opportunity to cultivate private-public partnerships and connect everyday New Yorkers to employers and meaningful careers,” said New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) Commissioner Keith Howard. “The investment in apprenticeship opportunities is part of Mayor Adams’ forward-thinking vision to position young adults for long-term economic success — and DYCD is proud to support the Workforce Development Council and offer programs in line with this goal.”

“The launch of the New York City Workforce Development Council and apprenticeship RFPs will bolster and strengthen the city’s talent and workforce development system by unlocking economic opportunities for all New Yorkers while also supporting employers to create the pipeline of talent they need to succeed,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President & CEO Andrew Kimball. “NYCEDC is laser-focused on reducing barriers for New Yorkers of all backgrounds to access good-paying jobs, and we look forward to working with our partners in city government and the private sector on supporting equitable economic growth throughout the five boroughs.”

“The Workforce Development Council is designed to ensure that the city’ s private sector employers are directly engaged in the design and execution of employment training and workforce development, which will translate into jobs and upward mobility for New Yorkers,” said Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO, Partnership for New York.

“There is no city in the world that can match New Yorkers’ ambition, grit, and energy,” said Steven Rubenstein, chairman, Association for a Better New York. “Our workforce is our greatest asset. I applaud Mayor Adams for investing in the skills and education New Yorkers need to build a brighter future for themselves and their city. I’m proud to join the business, education, and civic leaders on the inaugural New York City Workforce Development Council.”

“The City University of New York is proud to be part of the New York City Workforce Development Council, and we thank Mayor Adams for creating a needed platform to foster increased public-private collaboration and, ultimately, to grow opportunities for New Yorkers to begin strong, sustaining careers,” said City University of New York Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “At CUNY, we have seen a correlation between a company’s involvement in talent development and the number of students they hire. We look forward to working with more employers on the council and beyond to ensure our students have a pathway to success.”

“Job creation has been a hallmark of the Adams administration,” said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “We recovered all the jobs lost in the pandemic a year earlier than projected, and now have the most jobs in city history. Today we take the next step in record job creation with the launch of the New York City Workforce Development Council, an innovative public-private partnership to provide New Yorkers with the skills they need in today’s workforce. This will put New Yorkers in family-sustaining jobs and allow them to stand on their own two feet, all without going into debt for an expensive education. This Workforce Development Council will be an engine of job growth, opening the door to economic opportunity for our fellow New Yorkers.”

“The creation of the Workforce Development Council is a critically needed development that will connect New Yorkers with job opportunities,” said New York City Councilmember Julie Menin. “Rob Speyer as chair will bring a wealth of experience, leadership, and vision that will certainly benefit this new Workforce Development Council and our city as a whole. I commend Mayor Adams for ensuring more is done to ensure New Yorkers have ample opportunities for jobs.”

“The newly launched Workforce Development Council will help to effectively link workforce development policy to economic development,” said Randy Peers, president and CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “The work of the Workforce Development Council will be essential in ensuring that all New Yorkers have access to career-oriented employment, and all sectors of the economy, including our small businesses, are tapping into highly skilled talent pools.”

“The Staten Island Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a part of Mayor Adams’ New York City Workforce Development Council,” said Linda Baran, president and CEO, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. “Efforts like these are key to the post-pandemic recovery of our borough and our city as a whole. I look forward to working with the leaders on this Workforce Development Council to help drive our workforce and talent pipelines forward.”

“We applaud Mayor Adams and his administration for their ongoing partnership with industry and the launch of the Workforce Development Council,” said Kiersten Barnet, executive director, New York Jobs CEO Council. “We are delighted to serve the city and represent our private sector employers in this capacity and congratulate Jobs Council board member Rob Speyer for his continued leadership in public service.”

“With this conscious and strategic launch of the Workforce Development Council, Mayor Adams is doubling down on his investment into the people and workforce of New York City,” said Alysia Steinmann, metro New York office managing partner, Ernst & Young Global Limited. “As leaders committed to the city’s continued revitalization, we are thrilled to have Rob lead this group who will continue the work started by the Future of Workers Task Force. All New Yorkers deserve a city that works for and supports them, and we will work tirelessly to improve the current system that has, frankly, failed too many.”

“I am honored to be on the Workforce Development Council under the leadership of Rob Speyer and with Mayor Adams,” said Katy Gaul-Stigge, president & CEO, Goodwill NY/NJ. “Goodwill NY/NJ has been committed to creating equity and good jobs for all for over 108 years and I am honored to build on our work in New York City to transform workforce development for this moment.”

“The launch of the New York City Workforce Development Council marks a significant step towards enhancing economic opportunities and building a more accessible workforce for all New Yorkers,” said Grace Bonilla, president and CEO, United Way of New York City. “We’re looking forward to collaborating with the Council to create thousands of new jobs, create a more streamlined system that benefits employers and employees and continue to build a more equitable city where all New Yorkers can thrive.”

“The success of New York’s comeback depends on our ability to connect New Yorkers with the jobs of the future,” said Jen Hensley, senior vice president, corporate affairs, Con Edison. “At Con Edison, we are creating equitable pathways to sustainable, well-paying careers in clean energy. I want to thank Mayor Adams and Rob Speyer for their leadership in building this Workforce Development Council that will ensure New York remains a thriving and growing city that works for everyone.

“New Yorkers are no ordinary workforce,” said Liz Neumark, founder and chair, Great Performances. “They possess the will, passion and creativity to learn, blossom and succeed. Providing these new opportunities will unleash powerful and productive results.”

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