Press Releases

Group to Collaborate with Educational Institutions to Prepare New Yorkers in Low-Income, Diverse Communities for the Future of Work

Aims to Hire 100,000 New Yorkers by 2030, Including 25,000 CUNY Students

Partnering with City University of New York (CUNY), the New York City Department of Education, HERE to HERE, CareerWise New York and local government to meet employer needs for skilled workers and connect untapped talent with in-demand jobs

Dr. Gail Mellow to serve as Executive Director

New York– August 11, 2020 – CEOs from 27 of the largest employers in the New York area are launching the New York Jobs CEO Council. The new CEO-led, results-oriented coalition will collaborate with educational institutions, community organizations and nonprofits to hire skilled workers, meet employer needs and connect New Yorkers — with a focus on low-income and Black, Latinx and Asian communities — with the skills that they need for today's and tomorrow's workplace. The member organizations aim to hire 100,000 traditionally underserved New Yorkers by 2030, a goal which includes job opportunities and apprenticeships for 25,000 CUNY students.

The New York Jobs CEO Council will be led by Dr. Gail Mellow, who most recently served as President of LaGuardia Community College.

"Access to quality education and training for in-demand jobs is key to creating economic opportunity for youth and workers in New York," said Dr. Mellow. "Our mission is to ensure people in New York's most vulnerable communities can access the skills that they need to pursue promising career pathways and benefit from the city's economic recovery."

"The COVID crisis highlighted a sad societal truth: underserved communities too often pay the highest price, and as we work to build back better from this virus, New York is confronting this injustice head on," Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said. "The new initiative will play an important role connecting underserved communities with career resources and access to New York's world-class educational institutions, helping ensure economic prosperity is a dream anyone can realize, no matter their zip code."

New York has the largest gross domestic product (GDP) of any Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in the U.S. However, not all of the area's residents are positioned to benefit from the city's economy as it recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. Even before the crisis, which has had a disproportionate impact on low-income Black, Latinx and Asian communities, unemployment in the Bronx was 85% higher than in Manhattan. At the same time, jobs in high demand have not been filled, with less than 400,000 unemployed workers but significantly more job openings in New York in 2018-2019. By joining forces with local educational institutions, community organizations and nonprofits, the New York Jobs CEO Council members will use their collective resources, capital and network to scale proven employer solutions, build on successful models and share best practices to maximize the Jobs Council's impact in creating pathways to stable careers for New Yorkers in low-income and diverse communities.

"The economic crisis brought on by COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on low-income communities of color, and our recovery starts with investing in them," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "I'm thankful the New York Jobs CEO Council is joining us to promote economic justice and provide opportunities for our City's diverse workforce. Together, we will build back our economy fairer and stronger than ever before."

The New York Jobs CEO Council's co-chairs include: Jamie Dimon, CEO and Chairman, JPMorgan Chase; Carmine Di Sibio, Global Chairman and CEO, EY; Arvind Krishna, CEO, IBM; Kevin Sneader, Global Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company; and Julie Sweet, CEO, Accenture. Other initial members of the organization include: Ajay Banga, CEO, Mastercard; Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon; Michael Corbat, CEO, Citi; Steven J. Corwin, M.D., CEO, NewYork-Presbyterian; Kenneth Davis, M.D., President and CEO, Mount Sinai Health System; Brian Duperreault, CEO, AIG; Roger Ferguson, President and CEO, TIAA; Larry Fink, CEO and Chairman, BlackRock; Todd Gibbons, CEO, BNY Mellon; Peter Grauer, Chairman, Bloomberg L.P.; Meredith Kopit Levien, incoming President and CEO, The New York Times Company; John McAvoy, CEO, Con Edison; Brian Moynihan, CEO, Bank of America; Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft; Philip Ozuah, M.D., Ph.D., CEO, Montefiore Medicine; Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google; Charlie Scharf, CEO, Wells Fargo; David Solomon, Chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs; Rob Speyer, President and CEO, Tishman Speyer; Stephen Squeri, Chairman and CEO, American Express; Craig Thompson, M.D., President and CEO, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; and Hans Vestberg, CEO, Verizon.

The New York Jobs CEO Council will seek opportunities to engage additional CEOs in order to broaden its membership and ensure that companies of all sizes are represented.

Goals and Partners

The initial goal of the New York Jobs CEO Council is to hire early-career New Yorkers from low-income and Black, Latinx and Asian communities into stable jobs that set them on long-term career pathways.

The New York Jobs CEO Council will collaborate with CUNY to support student learning and the development of in-demand career pathways. These efforts will help 25,000 students who face barriers to economic opportunity secure entry-level jobs, apprenticeships and work-based learning opportunities with promising career trajectories at the New York Jobs CEO Council member companies.

"Having lifted generations of low-income New Yorkers into the middle class and beyond, CUNY's singular academic quality and affordability set it apart as perhaps the most potent engine of social and economic advancement in the United States," said Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, Chancellor, City University of New York. "Because of our vast reach and unparalleled ability to scale educational opportunities — from short-term certificates to doctoral degrees — CUNY is ideally positioned to prepare large numbers of diverse, adept New Yorkers to take advantage of the extraordinary opportunity that the New York Jobs CEO Council initiative represents. We look forward to working with many of the largest employers in the City in applying theoretical learning to real-world contexts and building on CUNY's historic mission of high-quality education and service to underserved students and immigrant communities."

In addition, to help more New Yorkers access modern youth apprenticeship opportunities, the New York Jobs CEO Council will adopt the CareerWise NY model of apprenticeship. CareerWise NY is an initiative that was incubated by nonprofit organization HERE to HERE and will now be established as an independent nonprofit. 

"Our student interns and apprentices are motivated by doing 'work that matters' in a real-world setting and as part of a team. For them, this is the ideal way to acquire critical workplace skills and begin building a network. Employers are often surprised by how quickly they learn and are able to contribute. That's why we are excited about the launch of the New York Jobs CEO Council," said Abby Jo Sigal, Founding CEO of HERE to HERE. "For HERE to HERE, it is the fruition of an enormous amount of work over the past two years to help establish and help incubate the business council as well as CareerWise New York. The new Jobs Council will bring the opportunities for work-based learning to many more students. It's a great investment in New York's future and economic recovery and promises to be life changing for many of the students we work with in the Bronx and throughout the city."

The New York Jobs CEO Council will also partner with organizations such as HERE to HERE and the New York City Department of Education to help scale relevant programs. Over time, the Jobs Council will seek to foster partnerships with additional educational institutions, community organizations and nonprofits.

In the future, the New York Jobs CEO Council will broaden the scope of its work to further expand its efforts to connect young people with in-demand jobs and support mid-career and transitioning workers.

More information about the Jobs Council's goals and partners can be found here.

Leadership and Governance

Dr. Gail Mellow will serve as Executive Director of the New York Jobs CEO Council. Dr. Mellow most recently served as President of LaGuardia Community College, where she developed and executed the College's strategy that increased credit enrollment, graduation rates and dramatically expanded workforce development programs. Stanford University research ranks LaGuardia among the top five community colleges in creating social mobility for its students.  

Dr. Mellow has more than 30 years of experience in higher education. She is a nationally recognized leader on the changing landscape of higher education and strategies for moving low-income students into the middle class. Her leadership catalyzed collaboration between business and education resulting in thousands of new jobs and more profitable companies in New York City. Frequently appointed to national commissions on education and the workplace, she is also an active scholar with more than 20 books and articles.

More information on the Jobs Council's leadership and governance structure can be found here.

About the New York Jobs CEO Council

The New York Jobs CEO Council is a results-oriented coalition of CEOs whose companies are collaborating to create a new talent pipeline that meets New York employers' evolving needs, and to provide New Yorkers from low-income and diverse communities with the skills and resources they need for the future of work. The organization supports the development, testing, implementation and scaling of innovative and successful solutions that can prepare residents, especially those in communities that lack access to economic opportunity, for the rapidly     evolving needs and demands of the workplace. The New York Jobs CEO Council companies aim to hire 100,000 New York residents by 2030, including 25,000 CUNY students.

Quotes from the Job Council's Co-Chairs

"Many New Yorkers are stuck in low-paying jobs that could be lost in the future or are struggling to navigate the labor market as the COVID-19 crisis has further exacerbated the economic inequities in the city. As companies with a long-standing commitment to the New York area and its residents, we are using our collective power to prepare the city's workforce with the skills of the future and helping New Yorkers who have been left behind get a foot in the door." –  Jamie Dimon, CEO and Chairman, JPMorgan Chase

"As a life-long New York area resident, I have seen the vast evolution of the job market in our area, but in recent years the changes have been swifter and more detrimental to those in low-income communities. The pandemic has exacerbated this trend. We must do more to make sure that the region is a place for all to thrive. The NY Jobs Council will help all New Yorkers get the training and skills they need to move up the economic ladder."  Carmine Di Sibio, Global Chairman and CEO, EY

"The Jobs Council will create much-needed economic opportunities for New Yorkers in diverse and underserved communities. With COVID-19 amplifying existing social inequities, we are stepping up to boost social mobility by broadening access to skills, training and jobs. This will not only help companies tap into fresh new talent but also ensure that people of all backgrounds can reap the fruits of the city's economic recovery and thrive in a fast-changing job market." – Arvind Krishna, CEO, IBM

"Our research estimates that more jobs in the metro New York area are at risk from COVID-19 than anywhere else in the U.S. The pandemic is accelerating trends that were already reshaping the future of work, particularly for underserved communities and other vulnerable segments of the population. Our analysis also shows that giving people the right training, skills and support can have significant impact on their livelihoods, and we are proud to help the Jobs Council build a more resilient, inclusive workforce for all New Yorkers that can serve as a model for other communities." –  Kevin Sneader, Global Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company

"We look forward to working with our New York Jobs CEO Council partners to help advance equality and create opportunities for underserved New Yorkers. Now more than ever, professional apprenticeship and work-based learning programs play a critical role in closing the skills gap, helping people become job-ready for the roles of the future, and providing the support they need to realize their full potential."– Julie Sweet, Chief Executive Officer, Accenture

Find more quotes from member CEOs here.

SOURCE New York Jobs CEO Council