How to improve NYC’s workforce development, affordable housing and economy

Construction workers in action in Lower Manhattan.
Construction workers in action in Lower Manhattan.
Michael715 / Shutterstock
A new report makes recommendations for bolstering workforce development, affordable housing and economic growth in New York City.

How to improve NYC’s workforce development, affordable housing and economy

A new report makes proposals for how help underserved communities in New York City.
August 12, 2021

A coalition of nonprofit leaders and advocates has released a new report outlining proposals New York City officials should take on to promote workforce development, affordable housing, and economic growth in underserved communities.

The report, compiled by the NYC Inclusive Growth Initiative – which was founded last year by the New York City Employment and Training Coalition, the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development, and Regional Plan Association – emphasizes the economic fallout caused by COVID-19. Job losses caused by the pandemic have disproportionately hurt low-wage workers in the service industry. Compared with February 2020, jobs are down 64% in the hotel industry, 34% in restaurants and 31% in arts, entertainment and recreation. Additionally, data from the Center for New York City Affairs found that as of June this year, more than half of the city’s out-of-work residents are considered long-term unemployed. 

According to the coalition, the next administration must take on several priorities to improve the city’s workforce development network. Those recommendations include using federal COVID-19 relief funds to support workforce development programs, providing more authority to the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, and offering more flexible funding to programs that allow for more partnerships between organizations instead of competition.

The report also emphasizes the need for more affordable housing to help New Yorkers in need by sustaining and expanding funding for city-funded housing vouchers and other programs. Among its recommendations: increasing the supply of affordable housing units in wealthier neighborhoods and passing additional legislation to protect tenants from housing discrimination.

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.