New York Jobs C.E.O. Council Focus on Students, Graduates of Color

During the summer of 2020, CEOs from 27 employers in the New York City metropolitan area launched the New York Jobs C.E.O. Council, a coalition to collaborate with educational institutions, community organizations, and nonprofits to hire skilled workers. The list of corporations that have joined the council includes JPMorgan Chase, Amazon, The New York Times Company, and Google

The council is focused on recruiting individuals from low-income and Black, Latino, and Asian communities. The council has a goal of hiring 100,000 New Yorkers by 2030, as well as offering job opportunities and apprenticeships to 25,000 City University of New York (CUNY) students.

Dr. Gail Mellow, executive director of the New York Jobs C.E.O. Council, said opportunities will be announced through multiple platforms, including member company websites and CUNY. 

“Once we enter this year’s hiring cycle, we will be sharing updates on our hiring metrics and insights from our work,” said Mellow. 

The council is currently working closely with the New York City Department of Education, HERE to HERE, a Bronx-based nonprofit that addresses opportunity gaps for young adults, CareerWise New York, a Bronx-based youth apprenticeship program, and local government to train students in various programs with in-demand skills. 

“Already through CareerWise, there are 80 apprenticeships filled by high school juniors for Jobs Council companies. One hundred more (are) scheduled to start this fall and winter,” said Mellow. 

Benjamin Pascal, president of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), City College of New York Chapter, and a student in mechanical engineering, said he is excited about the fact that the New York Jobs CEO Council is working towards hiring people from low-income communities. 

“(This will) enhance their workspaces (and result in a) lower crime rate (in the City), (as well as employ) highly capable individuals with a lot of potential who come from diverse cultures,” said Pascal. 

Pascal said his chapter of the NSBE looks forward to working with the council to share open positions. “It’s our mission as the National Society of Black Engineers to help students succeed professionally,” He said, 

Pascal said New York City area students and recent graduates are searching for flexible positions that allow them to work remotely, offer good wages, and provide technological equipment and WiFi access. 

“Make job announcements in different languages and post announcements in places that students frequent, including virtual spaces online. Collaborating with club organizations on campus (works well). Posts online (can) easily (get) lost, but promotional events with clubs brings that engagement aspect to students in a more direct manner,” said Pascal. 

Pascal said companies offering positions should ensure that workplaces are safe, which involves requiring masks and enforcing social distancing since many students in New York City are living with and caring for older adults.

Pascal said the council should also connect with student clubs and organizations like NSBE. 

“We have a long history of sharing news of job opportunities in multiple ways, including newsletters, emails, (information on our) website, and facilitating student attendance at conferences. NSBE (routinely) brings companies to the school to interview and talk to students about job opportunities,” said Pascal. 

Mellow said the Jobs Council intends to utilize the career services offices at CUNY campuses, as well as other online and virtual career development tools. 

“In fall 2020, CUNY is implementing a variety of online and virtual career development tools to ensure that students can create resumes, do interview prep, and perform career assessments using artificial intelligence and market-informed tools,” said Mellow.” The barriers that low-income and minority New Yorkers face in accessing stable career pathways and securing economic stability…existed long before the pandemic. This is why member companies with a longstanding commitment to addressing inequities convened last year to take action.”

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