Building Trades, Features, Law and Politics, New York

HireNYC an Ineffective NYC Program

July 15, 2018

By Stephanie

NEW YORK, NY – The Mason Tender’s District Council is calling on the New York City Council to hold an oversight hearing regarding HireNYC, a New York City job placement program. This City project appears to be costly and ineffective.

“We have tried time and again to work with the City on job readiness and placement programs that are proven to work and provide real pathways to the middle class for New York City residents,” said Robert Bonanza, Business Manager of the 17,000 member Mason Tender’s District Council of Greater New York.

“But the City continues to look to and pump money into a program, HireNYC, which we now know, is failing New Yorkers in need of good paying jobs. We implore the City Council to examine this program and hold an oversight hearing to uncover exactly how successful this initiative has been.”

While the program has reporting requirements, they aren’t public and  the program and its efficacy remains shrouded in mystery. The City Council should hold an oversight hearing to uncover the real value, if any, this program brings to communities and New Yorkers in need of good paying jobs.

HireNYC is triggered when EDC capital construction projects have a contract value of over $1 million and when general contractors on HPD projects receive more than $2 million in city subsidies. HireNYC requires all qualifying employers to take steps towards hiring New York City residents registered with the program. This program has largely been used in the neighborhood rezoning proposals that have been approved by the City Council. The project has continually failed to release data on how effective this initiative is in actually helping New York’s obtain meaningful employment.

Cooperation & Education Trust, GNY LECET, was forced to file a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request with the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) to procure information on construction job placements through the program. The City stonewalled this FOIL request for over a year, forcing GNYLECET to file a lawsuit to finally obtain some information on the efficacy of this job placement program.

From the data received it was determined that as of April 10, 2018, in one sample group of 1,100 HireNYC referrals, only 162 individuals were hired, leaving  83% of applications pending. While 664 of the referrals were for construction positions, only 77 people were hired and 579 applications (87%) are still pending.

This poor performance data illustrates why the City remains unwilling to publicly release information and contradicts the administration’s claims that HireNYC is successfully connecting local residents to good paying jobs.

“HireNYC is nothing but a compliance warehouse for the City and HPD,” said Patrick Purcell, Executive Director of the NYS & Greater New York Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust.   “New Yorkers are the ones being hurt in the process in the form of perpetually pending job applications that never lead to meaningful employment.  Furthermore in some cases applicants are directed to construction contractors known to be guilty of wage theft and/or unsafe building practices.”

“The City owes its residents a public hearing on this program, so we can determine the type of jobs this Council and administration believe New Yorkers deserve, and the changes necessary to ensure HireNYC doesn’t continue to leave so many New Yorkers out in the proverbial cold,” concluded Purcell.

July 15, 2018

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