Systems
Building

WPTI & Workforce Industry Resources

As part of our mission to enhance the capacity of the workforce development field, WPTI periodically publishes research reports and practice guides that distill best practices.

WPTI Reports

Workforce professionals help prepare job seekers and place them in suitable positions. These professionals assess the job readiness of job seekers; provide career coaching, job preparation, and vocational training; work with employers to identify job openings, match job seekers with openings; and monitor those placements to improve job retention.

Finding jobs for young New Yorkers is challenging in the best of times. In New York City’s hyper-competitive environment—with experienced adults vying for entry-level positions, and a lack of “big box” retailers and supermarkets that typically provide teens with their first jobs elsewhere—employers often have their pick of applicants.

WPTI Practice Guides

Assisting job seekers who have criminal records—and the employers that may hire them—represents one of the most persistently vexing challenges for workforce development organizations. In the years that Workforce Professionals Training Institute (WPTI) has provided direct training and technical assistance to practitioners and organizations in this area of work, we have learned much about effective strategies and practices, many of which we share in this report.

For too many young people—New York City youth in particular—the 21st century has not been a time of prosperity. Dubbed “Generation Recession,” these 16-24 year olds have graduated—or, given the city’s public school on-time completion rate of around 50%, in many cases not graduated—into an economic environment with few opportunities.

Getting young people to show up and stay involved can be the major bugaboo of workforce development programs. Competing responsibilities, a tendency toward short-term
thinking, and susceptibility to peer pressure lead some teenagers to dismiss education and job preparation as less important aspects of their lives. Participant dropout is common in most youth organizations, especially for programs that require months of commitment.

Facilitation when done well is an art, the expression of facts and opinions in a way that stimulates the most passive learner, transforms thinking and invites understanding. Lacking formal
training in classroom instruction, many workforce practitioners struggle to keep their participants engaged.

Want to learn more?

For more information on WPTI’s Systems Building efforts, please contact Markus Ward at mward@wpti.org.