Workforce Tactics

A productive workforce is critical for a city's overall health and the quality of life for residents. This collection of solutions and blocks provides a quick summary of resources on this topic.

Ensure that workforce development is a part of all resiliency investments

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As the City advances its more than $20 billion resiliency capital investment program, residents impacted by Sandy will have opportunities to access employment and the training needed to be eligible for the construction jobs these investments will create. To realize this opportunity, the City will build on the model designed for the Build it Back program that established the Sandy Recovery Workforce1 program, which encourages the hiring of Sandy-impacted residents and provides training vouchers for residents to access pre-apprenticeship programs. Specifically, the City will ensure all investments that strengthen the city’s resiliency will create job opportunities for residents and low-income applicants. This will require the City, in cooperation with the Law Department and Mayor’s Office of Contract Services (MOCS), to adopt standardized language for all procurement documents and contracts for resiliency-related work, and require contractors and consultants to report on efforts and outcomes related to local hiring and training.

Identify primary drivers of change

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As a part of the Strategic Foresight Initiative's (SFI) scenario planning and trends analysis, SFI employs an analytical approach used commonly by organizations such as the U.S. National Intelligence Council to identify macro-level factors that have significant influence in the world. These macro-level factors fall into five dimensions—Social, Technological, Environmental, Economic, and Political (STEEP). Using this STEEP approach, the SFI community of practitioners and subject matter experts identified 9 major drivers of change (categorized along the 5 STEEP dimensions) that will likely have the most significant influence on disaster management in the U.S. over the next 20 years. These drivers include Changing Role of the Individual, Climate Change, Critical Infrastructure, Evolving Terrorist Threat, Global Interdependencies, Government Budgets, Technological Innovation and Dependency, Universal Access to and Use of Information, and US Demographic Shifts.

Support small businesses and local commercial corridors

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Small businesses form a critical part of any community, providing jobs as well as goods and services. After Sandy, the disruption to businesses in affected communities meant lost earnings for business owners, displaced jobs for workers, and reduced access to vital goods and services. As a result, residents in many communities were left with limited options to meet their daily needs. In response, the City provided financial and technical assistance to more than 650 businesses in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. In addition, the Hurricane Sandy Business Loan and Grant Program will have served more than 250 businesses before the end of 2015. As of April 2015, the City has approved awards worth $35 million to more than 200 businesses. In Spring 2015, the City will announce the winners of RISE : NYC, a $30 million competition that leverages innovative resiliency technologies in energy infrastructure, telecommunications, and building systems for small businesses. Additionally, the City will launch a new Business PREP program to provide tailored resources and technical assistance in preparing and planning for future disruptive events to businesses citywide and thereby enhancing their resiliency.

Varied and frequent experience of work

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The Learning City Partnership Board, supported by the Mayor’s City Office, is leading the delivery of more varied and frequent experience of work for all young people in the city. The newly created WORKS is the development of a physical and virtual ‘Engagement Hub’ to bring businesses, education providers and young people together. The aim is to provide career related activities and work placements that will raise aspirations and secure successful career pathways for all, with an accompanying e-portfolio to record young peoples’ experience. Many young people do not have the personal networks to gain varied and regular experience of the world of work, particularly those who are more vulnerable, such as in the care system, and those living in more deprived parts of the city. This lack of experience has a direct impact on young peoples’ employability and in turn the development of the local workforce. A focus on experience of work will galvanize the collective endeavour, building on best practice, of the city’s education providers and local employers. Successful local programmes, such as HYPE West, will help to ensure those young people furthest from the labour market are supported into employment.