Greetings to you and your families as we start our Fall season.  Thank you OBT team and partners for your hard work and dedication to the participants we serve.  We are achieving great success towards our strategic goals and it’s all due to your efforts.

September and October have been impactful months for advocacy and OBT has been right at the forefront of these critical conversations. We want to position OBT in spaces where we can influence the conversation and demonstrate the importance of the work that you do. I’m grateful to have a team that provides me with the ability to represent OBT citywide and nationally.  We are a leader in workforce and economic development!

  • Last month I participated in the Hispanic Federation’s Encuentro Digital: Latino Digital Skilling Symposium in Washington, DC.  The symposium brought together over one hundred (100) national leaders to discuss strategies, policies, and initiatives to help end the digital divide for people of Color.   I was honored to represent OBT on a panel with other leaders from the non-profit, public, and private sectors to highlight the success of your work in our Tech Programs and a more efficient use of our collective action to improve digital opportunities for Latinx communities from an equity lens. Thank you Hispanic Federation for your support of OBT and for including us in this important conversation!
  • We also contributed to the Center for an Urban Future’s (CUF) policy paper: City of Aspiration: 150 Ideas from New Yorkers for Building a More Equitable NYC.  My piece focused on the importance of ensuring equity in compensation across New York City for non-profit staff and creating more opportunities for leaders of Color. CUF is a catalyst for smart and sustainable policies that reduce inequality, increase economic mobility, and grow the economy in New York City. Thank you CUF for highlighting the need for this critical conversation.
  • I am also thrilled to inform you that OBT is now represented on the Human Services Council’s Priority & Strategy Committee as I am excited to join the committee with other non-profit leaders across New York.  The Human Services Council (HSC) is the voice of the human services sector in NY.  They highlight the struggles of those we serve and amplify the need for a strong, well invested sector.
  • I also attended the New York Association for Training and Economic Professionals (NYATEP) 2022 Workforce Conference.  On the heels of the Governor’s $350 million statewide investment in Workforce Development, this year’s conference focused on the importance of collaboration across the State to discuss opportunities as new industries emerge and regional economies thrive! We must train individuals in sectors to connect them to jobs! In the last 40 years NYATEP has grown to be New York’s statewide workforce development association.  The membership represents more than one million organizations helping New Yorkers achieve good or better jobs through job training, education, economic and workforce development.  OBT is a proud member.  There’s no Workforce Development without Economic Development!
  • On October 13, 2022 we are attending the New York City Employment & Training Coalition (NYCETC)’s  2022 Annual Conference “Advancing Talent & Equity for a Thriving Economy”.  NYCETC works to ensure that every New Yorker – especially those who have been historically marginalized and disenfranchised and cut off from workforce opportunities – has access to the skills, training, and education needed to thrive in the local economy, and that every business is able to maintain a highly skilled workforce.
  • October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual nationwide campaign to raise awareness about the impact of breast cancer. Knowledge and early detection saves lives. OBT is committed to highlighting the importance of breast cancer screening and provide information.  We thank Serrina Goodman, Senior Director of Customized Training & Business Partnerships, for her dedicated service as an Ambassador for the Afro-SHARE Cancer Support Program and spokesperson for the American Cancer Society. The Afro-SHARE program focuses on providing information and resources to BIPOC communities.  She will host an OBT Breast Cancer Awareness Day on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, at the Bushwick Office from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM.  Serrina will provide information on breast cancer screening, support services for caregivers/survivors as well as “Pink” giveaways. The following is a link to breast resources and information
  • October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM)! DVAM was launched nationwide in October 1987 as a way to connect and unite individuals and organizations working on domestic violence issues. It is an opportunity to raise awareness about domestic violence, to bring the issue to the forefront, advocate for change, celebrate survivors, and mourn those who have tragically lost their lives to domestic violence.  Research indicates that domestic violence reports are higher on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, with New Year’s Day averaging 2.7 times more incidents of domestic violence than the normal daily average.  The following is a link to the National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • To highlight OBT’s commitment to Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence awareness month we want to demonstrate our support.  If you would like to join us, on Wednesday, October 19th, please wear “Pink” in support of Breast Cancer and on Thursday October 20th wear “Purple” for Purple Thursday.  On both days, feel free to share awareness materials and information.  Please also take pictures of yourself and your teams united in Pink on 10/19 and Purple on 10/20.  Share the pictures with Daniel Veliz, Communications Coordinator so that he can share on our social media using the hashtag #OBTGoesPink for Breast Cancer Awareness and #OBTDVAM22 for Domestic Violence Awareness.
  • On October 4th we joined in celebration forYom Kippur, which translates to the “Day of Atonement.”  This is the holiest day of the year in Judaism and the last of 10 days of repentance starting with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. This holiday is typically marked with worship, reflection, and abstention, including 25 hours of fasting.
  • We also recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday, October 10th which is celebrated to honor the past, present, and futures of Native people throughout the US. The holiday recognizes the legacy and strength of Native communities, and it also celebrates their culture, contributions, and resilience.
  • As of today, we have approximately 17,000 Asylum seekers in NYC.  Mayor Adams recently held a press briefing today stating the emergency that NYC is facing due to the influx of individuals. We have several Asylum Seekers who have engaged our Bushwick office and are enrolled in our English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses.  In conjunction with ESOL courses, as you can imagine, we are encountering the need for other support such as coats, basic living items, etc.   Our teams are coordinating with our community partners to develop a resource bank to guide individuals appropriately.  If you have resources that can be helpful, please contact us directly. We want to ensure that OBT is positioned to assist those who come to us for assistance.

Thank you OBT for always doing the best for individuals in NYC.  Thank you for all you do!

Yours In Service

Dr. Darlene Williams
President & CEO