City Council Member Erik Bottcher on Tuesday unveiled a new resume and job bank called the West Side Work Coalition aimed at connecting residents from several NYCHA developments in his district to local jobs.
Bottcher said that his goal for the initiative was to address the income inequality between some of the neighborhood’s affluent employers and public housing residents that could use some opportunities. The coalition is asking for local employers to join and list available positions, while it maintains the infrastructure to match people with them.
“We have people living with intergenerational poverty across the street from Hudson Yards down at Fulton Houses across the street from Google, a trillion dollar corporation,” Bottcher said. “It’s one thing to call out the problem and identify the problem. As important as that is, we’ve gotta do something about it.“
Funding in the city budget will create WSWC programming to introduce a customized referral process to recruit candidates for local opportunities, develop job training opportunities and analyze job data on the success of the job seekers. Bottcher said that eventually he plans to expand the project across his Manhattan district, but to start out, it will be limited to residents of NYCHA Elliott-Chelsea and NYCHA Fulton Houses
“Not only will this model of workforce development provide job seekers with the skills and opportunities needed for them to be gainfully employed, but it will also enrich New York City’s economy,” said Congress Member Jerry Nadler. “I’m excited to be with you all at the launch of this promising initiative and, and I hope to see it replicated across our district and all across New York City.”
The coalition of community-based organizations, philanthropy and government agencies includes the Hudson Guild, Greenwich House and the New York City Employment and Training Coalition. It has been meeting every month for the past year and a half to get the project off the ground, Bottcher said.
“The Council is proud to invest $25,000 to support the West Side Work Coalition, which will connect employers with NYCHA residents living in the west side of Manhattan. This partnership is vital to uplifting New Yorkers who are seeking opportunities to thrive, and we will continue to support their important work,” said Council Speaker Adrienne Adams.
Bottcher’s West Side district has a relatively low unemployment rate of 3.6% compared to the rest of the city. However, unemployment rates in public housing hover around 22%, as reported by the Community Service Society in 2021.
“We see many outsiders that don’t live in our community, going to businesses to go to work when we live right across the, across the street from Google and Hudson Yards. We should be the first ones that they reach out to to say, ‘Hey, we can set up a job training program,’” said Miguel Acevedo, president of the Fulton Houses Tenants Association.