Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (OBT) Statement on FY21 Executive Budget

April 24, 2020

Do Not Leave Young People Behind

We are extremely disappointed to see the drastic cuts in funding for the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) in Mayor de Blasio’s FY21 Executive Budget. A cut of this magnitude will create an alarming gap between what will be necessary in an economic recovery, and what workforce organizations will be able offer, further entrenching inequity for disadvantaged communities.

Job training and education programs and employment placement services that workforce development nonprofits like Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (OBT) provide will become utterly essential resources to disenfranchised young people, adults struggling with the digital divide, and speakers of other languages. In the economic landscape that results from this catastrophe, competition for employment will be even tighter than it was; the low-income and marginalized population that DYCD providers work with will be at an even more significant disadvantage in attempting to access jobs. Without sector-specific training, digital literacy, a High School diploma, and a fluency in English, young people across the city will face extraordinarily high levels of unemployment and economic devastation.

Workforce nonprofits are uniquely positioned to pivot quickly and respond to changes in the labor market. We are also most closely connected to communities – we are in them, we are part of them. We are used to shifting our focus to respond to what local residents and employers need. In fact, we are already pivoting and closely tracking needs in healthcare and technology. Any economic recovery would be incomplete without ensuring that access to training and re-training is available for newly unemployed New Yorkers and those who have already been living the impact of our city’s inequities.

We call upon the Administration and the Council to immediately reconsider this cut. For the sake of our students now and in the future, we urge you to keep workforce development a priority as the City plans for an equitable economic recovery.

With questions, please reach out to Caroline Iosso, Director of Community and Government Affairs, at ciosso@obtjobs.org.