People September 7, 2016 | 3:37 pm

NYC to launch Workforce1 Career Center in Washington Heights

New York.–– The Department of Small Business Services on Wed. announced the opening of the new Washington Heights Workforce1 Career Center at516 West 181st Street, the first location to offer tailored employment,training, and supportive services to the City’s vibrant immigrantworkforce. The center’s programming wasdeveloped through a partnership between the Department of Small BusinessServices (SBS), the Human Resources Administration/ Department of SocialServices (HRA/DSS), and Robin Hood. Itwill serve residents of all five boroughs, and accept referrals from the City’sexisting network of 17 Workforce1 Career Centers, as well as community-basedorganizations. New York City is home tomore than 3 million immigrants – and more than 80,174 foreign-born New Yorkersreside in Washington Heights.

“Global Talent Pipeline,” the new set of services debutingat the Washington Heights Workforce1 Career Center, will prepare and connectforeign-born New Yorkers with jobs in growing industries like healthcare, techand food service. Global Talent Pipelineaddresses the twin challenges of an immigrant workforce that is overrepresentedin low skill or underpaid jobs, and local employers who struggle to findskilled workers in key economic sectors. Developed in collaboration with City agencies and community groups, thisnew set of services will allow foreign-born New Yorkers to reach their fullestpotential, and help to grow the economy by delivering talent that localemployers need.

The Washington Heights Workforce1 center features anintegrated team of SBS and HRA staff for the first time. The following GlobalTalent Pipeline services are available on-site at the center:

· customizedworkshops to help foreign-born jobcandidates develop a better understanding of the American workplace and conducta successful job search;

· pre-training programs featuring English as a Second Language (ESL)support;

· advancedoccupational training programs in key industry sectors outlined in Mayor deBlasio’s Career Pathways Report – including healthcare, technology,transportation, food service and construction;

· connectionto living-wage jobs with employers who are seeking bilingual staff;

· guidanceand direct access to HRA benefits, such as cash and food assistance – includingthe ability to apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP);

· connectionto social services provided by community-based organizations servingforeign-born New Yorkers

"SBS is actively working toward Mayor de Blasio’s vision ofinclusive growth and shared prosperity, by equipping jobseekers with skills tobuild careers in the 21st century economy,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner ofthe Department of Small Business Services. “At the new Workforce1 Center in Washington Heights, this dream is now even more accessible toforeign-born New Yorkers, who will make our workforce more competitive, and oureconomy even more robust. We are grateful to Robin Hood for investing in thedevelopment and launch of this new set of services.”

“This new center offers immigrants access to publicbenefits, training and employment opportunities all under one roof. Weanticipate it will give immigrants the assistance they need to secure a betterfuture for themselves and their families. This effort could potentially bereplicated throughout the City’s workforce development system to reachthousands more people in need, which is really exciting,” said Tanya Beja,program officer at Robin Hood, the largest poverty-fighting organization in NewYork.

“Immigrant New Yorkers are a significant proportion of NewYork City’s workforce population and possess many in-demand skills,” said SteveBanks, Commissioner of the Department of Social Services. “However, access to opportunity, the abilityto translate skills into new industries and occupations, and familiarity withexpectations of New York City employers are challenges that many immigrantsface, regardless of language or education.”

"This Workforce1 Center is a symbol of our community’sfuture," said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. "With unemploymentlevels at higher than the city average, Washington Heights and Inwood willbenefit tremendously from this resource. Opportunities for employment will growin our communities and the Workforce1 Center will be instrumental in connectingour residents to these quality jobs. I thank the de Blasio administration andCommissioners Banks and Bishop for their commitment to improving the lives ofuptown residents through employment and needed services."

“Brooklyn Workforce Innovations has a history of empoweringlow- and moderate-income job seekers through skills trainings and careerdevelopment supports that create access to career pathways and living-wageemployment opportunities,” said Aaron Shiffman, Executive Director, BrooklynWorkforce Innovations. “We are excitedto partner with the City to expand these opportunities for foreign-born NewYorkers in the transportation sector, specifically in the high-demandoccupation of commercial driving. Morethan one-third of the CDL training beneficiaries BWI currently serves areforeign born New Yorkers, and we look forward to providing the additionallanguage, career, and industry-specific support that will help more New Yorkersaccess our training and assist program graduates in launching successfulcareers.”

Francesca Fiore, Assistant Dean of LaGuardia CommunityCollege said, “The new Workforce1 Center is sure to be a tremendous resourcefor the Washington Heights community—in particular, those for whom English is asecond language. LaGuardia Community College is excited to contribute ourexpertise helping adults go back to school to better the lives of theirfamilies and themselves, to the suite of services offered at the Center. Co-locatingour Bilingual Medical Assistant Training Program for English language learnersat the new Workforce1 Center means that our participants can access freetraining for this in-demand field, using industry-relevant material thatreflects feedback from healthcare employers on the skills they want to see inmedical assistant candidates, as well as attend resume writing workshops, honetheir interview skills, and connect to a number of invaluable services all inone convenient and easily accessible location.”

“The inclusion of specialized curriculum for foreign-bornNew Yorkers creates an inclusive and welcoming learning environment, where allNew Yorkers can strive to achieve their dreams for success in New York"said Julia Jean-Francois, Co-Director of the Center for Family Life.

“The Washington Heights Workforce1 Center will help growour City’s economy and is an important milestone for Inwood NYC, acomprehensive neighborhood planning initiative for upper Manhattan. The centeris well positioned to serve existing and new businesses that will be growingjobs in upper Manhattan as a result of the Inwood NYC initiative, and toconnect residents with those good jobs and career pathways – one of the toppriorities in the ongoing planning process,” said NYCEDC President MariaTorres-Springer. “NYCEDC is proud to continue working with our sister agenciesand local partners to strengthen our neighborhoods and to build on thismomentum in the uptown community.”

“Immigrant communities are the backbone of our City’sthriving economy,” said Commissioner Nisha Agarwal of the Mayor’s Office ofImmigrant Affairs. “This new Workforce1 Career Center will help to ensure thatmore immigrant New Yorkers have the resources they need to reach their fullcareer potential.”

About the Department of Small Business Services (SBS)

SBS helps unlock economic potential and create economicsecurity for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creatingstronger businesses, and building a fairer economy in neighborhoods across thefive boroughs. For more information on all of SBS’ services, go to,call 311, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Human Resources Administration/Department ofSocial Services (HRA/DSS)

HRA/DSS is dedicated to fighting poverty and incomeinequality by providing New Yorkers in need with essential benefits such asFood Assistance and Emergency Rental Assistance. As the largest local socialservices agency in the country, HRA/DSS helps over 3 million New Yorkersthrough the administration of more than 12 major public assistance programs.

About Robin Hood

Robin Hood, New York’s largest poverty-fightingorganization, finds, funds and creates over 200 of the most effective programs,to help 1.8 million New Yorkers learn and earn their way out of poverty. Formore information visit, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact: Nick Benson (SBS),,212.618.6778

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