CUNY Jobs Task Force Presents “Jobs for New York’s Future,” A Workforce Preparation Report

The City University of New York Jobs Task Force, a panel of business leaders named by Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, has issued a report that highlights key areas of near-term job growth in the city. The panel looked at five sectors that together employ one in three New York City residents. Among its findings:

• Finance, insurance and accounting, which employ 10 percent of the local workforce and where “employment opportunities have decreased even as wages have increased” as a result of mergers, acquisitions and the financial downturn of 2008, will see growing “demand for workers in risk-management and those with bilingual skills.”
• Health care, which employs 13 percent of the local workforce, will encounter workforce shortages in several occupations including “laboratory technologists; respiratory, occupational and physical therapists; pharmacists and pharmacy technicians; radiological technologists and radiological technicians; and health educators.”
• Higher education (aside from faculty positions), where “employment has grown … in part because [of] economic conditions,” will need staff in development (fundraising); people versed in technology and office software for the registrar’s and bursar’s offices; CPAs; information technology professions; human resources; and higher education officers, who do administrative work.
• Information technology, where technology and “the proliferation of information generated across industries have greatly increased the need for workers with IT and related analytical skills, all across the economy,” will see a shortage of programmers and developers. “IT firms would like to see many more domestic computer science graduates who do not require assistance with special immigration status, as the application process entails a great deal of time and expense for the firms.”
• Media and advertising, where “employment has declined … notably [in] publishing,” employers say “new workers must increasingly possess technological fluency, a facility with analytics and strong communication skills.” They are particularly looking for technological familiarity across the board, “more skilled people in post-production visual effects,” writers, editors, data analysts and specialists, planners, publicists, account executives and “digital people.”

“The Jobs Task Force provides both a conceptual framework and specific approaches to enhance the University’s ability to equip students for the city’s labor market,” Chancellor Goldstein said. “With City University granting the majority of bachelor’s degrees in the city and 80 percent of our degree recipients remaining here after graduation, CUNY has a huge impact on the city’s economic life. As we work with our college communities to implement these recommendations, we will not only help our students succeed, but also strengthen New York City’s capacity for a vibrant future.”

The CUNY Jobs Task Force included top executives from firms like Marsh & McLennan, JP Morgan Chase, TIAA-CREF, Ogilvy & Mather and Empire BlueCross BlueShield. The 65-page report is at

The University is already reshaping its career-training programs. In health care, for example, where CUNY accounts for 65 percent of associate-level registered nurses who graduate from New York City institutions, the University is responding to a nationwide demand for RNs with baccalaureate and master’s degrees. This has led to joint-degree programs like the linkage between Queensborough Community College and Hunter College. To improve training, CUNY is developing state-of-the-art “dedicated educational units” at hospitals including Long Island Jewish to provide real-life learning environments. And CUNY is expanding its doctoral-degree programs in nursing to provide more practitioners with research-based expertise.

Other examples of CUNY workforce preparation initiatives include:
• University projects including the $20.8 million New York Simulation Center for Health Sciences, launched last September in partnership with NYU Langone Medical Center; CUNY’s $20 million Career Path Program to train out-of-work, career-changing adults; and many professional and certificate programs.
• CUNY job-preparation efforts, from Kingsborough Community College’s Virtual Enterprise Program to internships, workshops and training at Baruch College’s STARR Career Development Center.
• Additional highlights are at the end of this press release.

“We know that a number of CUNY partnerships and programs with industry already address the linkages” suggested by panel members and those they interviewed, task force chair Frederick Schaffer, CUNY’s general counsel and senior vice chancellor for legal affairs, writes in the report’s cover letter. “A comprehensive effort to identify and examine CUNY’s best practices, as well as those of institutions across the country, will be a critical first step toward the goal of refining and expanding such activities and ensuring their effectiveness in preparing students for the rapidly changing 21st century workplace.”

Noting that Chancellor Goldstein has already initiated such conversations across CUNY to best align academic programs with the realities of today’s workplaces, Schaffer added: “The University should further its consultations with trustees, presidents, faculty, disciplinary councils, students, alumni, governance and advisory groups, the Business Leadership Council, and other constituencies to identify ways this study can be used to inform program improvements.”

Joining Shaffer on the CUNY Jobs Task were: Steve Anderman, chief operating officer and chief information officer, Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center; Orlando Ashford, chief HR officer & communications officer, Marsh & McLennan Companies; Frank Bisignano, chief administrative officer and head of home lending, JP Morgan Chase & Company; Ted Brown, Ph.D., professor and executive officer, Computer Science Department, executive director, CUNY Institute for Software Design and Development, CUNY Graduate Center; Roger Ferguson, president and chief executive officer, TIAA-CREF; Maria Gotsch, president and chief executive officer, New York City Investment Fund; Carol Schuster, former worldwide managing director, global brand management, Ogilvy & Mather; Mark Wagar, president and chief executive officer, Empire BlueCross BlueShield; Robert Walsh, commissioner, New York City Department of Small Business Services.

Examples of ongoing CUNY workforce-preparation programs

New York Simulation Center for Health Sciences – The City University of New York joined NYU Langone Medical Center to create the New York Simulation Center for Health Sciences (NYSIM), a 25,000-square-foot facility in Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital Center that was built with $20.8 million in state and city funds. Since September 2011, nursing students at Borough of Manhattan Community College and other hospital, local and volunteer groups have trained there. Conceived after 9/11 to improve emergency-response training, it features a disaster training room, a 5-bed ICU, two operating rooms, trauma rooms, a labor and delivery room and 14 patient examination rooms, all equipped with more than 100 cameras to record training sessions for students to review in debriefing sessions. It is the first of its kind to put nurses, doctors, medical students and first responders in a collaborative, multi-disciplinarian setting, providing a new paradigm for training.

CUNY’s Career PATH Program – Out-of-work career-changing adults can retool for today’s job market through a nearly $20-million federal grant to a CUNY consortium of six community and two comprehensive colleges. CUNY’s Career PATH program for job training and workforce development, administered by the U.S. Department of Labor in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education, is the only one in New York State and one of 32 nationwide. The grant supports partnerships between community colleges and employers to develop programs that provide pathways to good jobs, including instruction to meet specific industry needs. It also strengthens connections among college transition programs, occupational training and degree programs.

Professional and Certificate Programs – CUNY colleges offer a range of professional credentials and certificates in high-demand fields, serving both career-changers and those seeking advancement from their current positions. Programs include health care, business, information technology, real estate and construction for positions as varied as administrative assistants, community health workers, computer network managers, energy-efficient building operators and even personal trainers.

Annual CUNY-wide Big Apple Job Fair – About 70 major employers participated in the 2012 Big Apple Job Fair held at the Javits Center on April 27. It included workshops on social media, converting an internship into a full-time job and on varieties of international careers.

Virtual Enterprise Program, Kingsborough Community College – Students design and run virtual businesses in tandem with students in 20 countries. More than 1500 of these international practice firms engage in commerce with each other. Each graduating class hands its businesses over to the next crop of students, who inherit whatever assets, liabilities, opportunities or problems exist at the company. Kingsborough students run some two dozen virtual businesses, ranging from a software company to a full-service hotel and an international airline. Students create sales and marketing campaigns, set up employee policies, build company websites and more.

Magner Center for Career Development and Internships, Brooklyn College – The center provides comprehensive career services that enable students to apply their academic knowledge and personal values to the world of work. Through partnerships with employers and faculty and staff, students receive knowledge, skills and experience needed to thrive in today’s globally interdependent world, including career counseling, alumni mentoring, internships, interview preparation and career assessments.

STARR Career Development Center, Baruch College – This comprehensive program includes a year-long financial leadership program for students preparing for front-office jobs in finance; STARR-Search, an online career service management system that posts more than 9,000 jobs and internships; a Katzen-Laufer Stipend for unpaid internships; more than 120 career-preparation workshops for undergraduates yearly, including with Wall Street professionals, five annual career fairs and a Career Development Center website which includes models of résumés, cover letters, interview questions and videos. An On-Campus Recruiting Workshop covers everything from mastering the job interview to salary negotiation, plus mentoring.

Access for Women, New York City College of Technology – For women interested in non-traditional technical fields, especially hard-hat fields, Access for Women provides classes, workshops, basic skills, math and vocational training for unemployed and underemployed women. City Tech’s hospitality program holds a Hospitality Management Hiring Fair most semesters, which draws participants from the leading restaurants and hotels in New York City.

BALA (Business and Liberal Arts), Lehman College – In this rigorous interdisciplinary minor, students majoring in the arts and sciences develop additional skills through courses and exposure to a variety of business fields.

Allied Health Career Pipeline Program, Hostos Community College – An enhanced allied health training and internship program trains students under a $7.4 million Health Profession Opportunity Grant from the U.S, Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families. Over five years it will train more than 900 public assistance recipients and other low-income individuals to become community health workers, patient care technicians, pharmacy technicians and New York State certified nurse assistants.