Last September, and hosted a , where residents, local businesses, civic organizations and government representatives came together to find solutions to the various issues affecting the quality of life in our community.
The participants formed various work groups and came away inspired and full of great ideas and possibilities, ready to address our community’s challenges head on!
Focusing on workforce development, one team of enthusiastic volunteers created an ambitious action plan to reduce unemployment and increase household incomes.
Indeed, unemployment and need for jobs that pay living wage was a paramount issue and concern. The team declared that Bedford-Stuyvesant is a community where all residents are gainfully employed and is currently working on bold plan to reduce unemployment by 5 percent!
The Jobs Team joined forces with the Workforce Network of the Coalition for the Improvement of Bedford Stuyvesant (CIBS) and is moving ahead with a two-fold strategy: building a qualified labor force, while supporting the creation and retention of jobs.
So far, we have intensified our outreach to let the community know of the many free services that are available to help build a qualified workforce: vocational training, job readiness workshops, customer service skills, education and social services.
Many have taken advantage of this opportunity. Restoration, for example, is providing job readiness throughout the month – we assist in resume and cover letter writing, interviewing skills, customer service training, job search and networking. And soon as you are ready to work, we can connect you with a job developer to send you out on an interview.
Take that first step and come in to find out how we can assist. Or you might know of somebody looking for work. Let them know of these great services available to them at no cost.
It is not only the residents that work with us in reducing unemployment, but there are many ways that employers can contribute as well. Our people work at local mom and pop stores, larger businesses, nonprofits, hospitals, and other service providers in Brooklyn and beyond.
With a growing pool of qualified staff in many industries, we need our employers on board with this initiative as well. There are many ways to do that.
For instance, by collaborating with community service organizations in selecting and screening candidates for vacant positions. Chances of finding qualified staff will increase and it will save the employer valuable time in the hiring process.
An example is Foodtown, a major employer and co-chair of the Bed-Stuy Gateway Business Improvement District who works closely with Restoration to hire qualified staff.
Another way that employers can help is by taking on an intern. It is a great way to test the waters and to get a good sense of someone’s capabilities before hiring. At the same time a business is giving back to the community by providing our youth and young adults with invaluable work experience.
Besides screenings and internships, community based organizations offer a host of services that will allow someone to keep a job-- a win-win situation for both employee and employer, since high turnover hampers a business’s ability to run profitably.
Through the CIBS community-wide collaboration, a multitude of free family services are available to help retain great staff. These include career counseling, access to benefits, health care, child care, legal services, customer service training, financial counseling, etcetera.
No single organization or individual can be held responsible for the quality of life in an entire community. But we are responsible for working together to make it so.
Only through the collaboration of local businesses, residents, and community based organizations will we be able to make a demonstrable impact and put Bedford-Stuyvesant on the map as the place to live, work, shop, and visit!
If you are looking for more information on workforce assistance to employers and residents in Bedford Stuyvesant, you can contact Jako Borren at (718) 636-6972 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.