Innovative Policy 2021 on Employment and ICT

Public-Private-Partnership connecting jobseekers with disabilities to employers

The New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) has been running the NYC: ATWORK programme since 2015. It is a private-public partnership connecting jobseekers with disabilities to employers. It provides training, organizes internships and apprenticeships suited to the applicants’ needs, and supports employers with disability training and recruitment. From 2018 to 2020, 350 people got work and internships in public and private entities in fields such as retail or hospitality.

“NYC: ATWORK introduced me to employers who understood my skills and were in need of my services.”

About the policy at a glance
Laws and regulations involved:NYC: ATWORK
Responsible Body:New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD)
Country
of Implementation
United States – New York City

FACTS & FIGURES

  • The project has connected 2,100 people to information, guidance, or employment since 2015
  • Average salary for participants is US$55,000 per annum
  • 3,500 people have attended MOPD’s training for businesses

PROBLEMS TARGETED

People with disabilities in New York City have an unemployment rate of 79 per cent and a poverty rate of 35 per cent.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

NYC: ATWORK connects to jobseekers with disabilities via its ‘Talent Coalition’, comprised of local non-profit organizations, jobseekers, public and private colleges, workforce development agencies, and state funded vocational rehabilitation agencies. NYC: ATWORK disseminates tools and resources among Talent Coalition members to ensure job readiness and runs an online job board for jobseekers.

The programme connects with employers through its Business Development Council to learn about needs and trends within high growth industries. Two thirds of the jobseekers have found work in private companies doing jobs in finance, tech, and business services. Most public-sector work is in the fields of hospitality, arts and culture, and health care. In addition, 77 persons have qualified for the city’s 55-a Program, which allows a qualified person to be hired into competitive civil service positions without having to take an exam. As of 2020, participants earn on average US$55,000 per annum.

From 2018 to 2020, NYC: ATWORK has engaged with 1,200 jobseekers.

A man in a wheelchair is listening to a woman standing at a desk who is talking and smiling. A pinboard with notices is on the wall behind them.

Dirk Hohenkirk meets with his supervisor.

OUTLOOK, TRANSFERABILITY AND FUNDING

Initial funding came from the Poses Family Foundation, Kessler Foundation, Craig H. Neilson Foundation, Institute for Career Development, and the NY State Education Department, totalling US$1.6 million over three years. Once this funding ended, all staff were converted to permanent positions through the NYC Mayor’s Office for Workforce Development.

In the future the aim is to become sustainable and to attract more funds from the private sector. Steps have already been taken to provide new options to jobseekers, including providing free certification in various sectors like health care and emergency management.

FACTSHEET

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