Good Day OBT Community!

A warm welcome to you and your families as we enjoy the month of November. This is a month to embrace the power of GRATITUDE. With that, I’d like to thank the OBT team and partners for your continued hard work and dedication to the communities we serve. We appreciate you for all you do in delivering impactful Programs that uphold our values of integrity, excellence, and empowerment.

As we journey through the 2022 holiday season and prepare for a New Year, we hope to continue this momentum as we come together to teach, share, uplift, evolve, and give thanks.

  • In October, I was honored to have joined the Human Services Council’s (HSC) Priority & Strategy Committee. The role of this Committee is to establish the priorities and strategic direction for HSC and guide the organization’s advocacy work by identifying new trends and suggesting new approaches and issues HSC should address. The members of the Priority & Strategy Council bring their perspectives into Board deliberations to ensure that the priorities of HSC are carried out faithfully. I am grateful for the opportunity to represent OBT, and I look forward to representing the workforce community in NYC.
  • November is Native American Heritage Month. A time to celebrate the incredible history, diverse cultures, and significant contributions of our Nation’s first people.  It is  important to spotlight the history of different tribes, the unique challenges that have affected them in the past and present, and how the Native American and Alaska Native communities have worked to overcome these challenges. As a member of this diverse community, I’m proud to learn more about the Native American people and how to support, celebrate, and uplift our heritage.
  • Another important theme this month is Child Safety and Protection. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Child Injury Report highlight the importance of this issue. Research indicates that, on average, 12,175 children 0 to 19 years of age die each year in the United States from an unintentional, often preventable, injury. We spotlight the importance because OBT is committed to the well-being and future of all youth as we seek to break the cycle of poverty and inequity through our Programs.
  • I’m looking forward to increasing OBT’s outreach by participating in an interview on a nationally syndicated Sunday morning radio show, “Conversations on The Block on 94.7 FM. The opportunity highlights our programs and impact.
  • In addition to increasing outreach, great strides are being made in New York City. For example, on November 1, employers advertising jobs in New York City must include a good faith salary range for every job, promotion, and transfer opportunity. OBT supports this new step towards gender and racial pay equity. According to compensation survey data, women and people of Color are less likely to ask for or receive higher salaries. Therefore, disclosing the salary ranges will allow workers to gauge how positions are valued in their workspace and whether they are paid fairly. This type of transparency helps us build better futures for our youth. Click this link to learn mor
  • Continuing with the theme of gratitude, OBT is again participating in a world generosity movement known as Giving Tuesday. On Tuesday, November 29, we are proud to join Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving that follows Thanksgiving and is dedicated to harnessing the collective power of individuals, communities, and businesses to encourage philanthropy and celebrate generosity. Donate to our Giving Tuesday Fundraiser or help us raise awareness by creating a Facebook fundraiser that you can share with your network. Click the Donate Now link to participate Donate Now!
  • Our programs continue to drive engagement as we near the end of the year. October ended with our Customized Training team hosting a Customer Service Airport Training Boot Camp. The Workforce Innovation team is starting registration for the 2023 Masonry Restoration Training Program in partnership with Green-Wood Cemetery and World Monuments Fund. The College Access team is hosting a tour of LaGuardia College, where our youth will have an opportunity to get a glimpse into college life by sitting in on an actual campus classroom – Thank you, Sergeant Patrick Gordon and NYPD Police Commissioner Liaison Unit, for your partnership. The Adult Education team is continuing enrollment for basic computer classes, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes, citizenship prep, and Adult High School Equivalency classes.
  • November is a month of awareness, and we want to highlight National Job Action Day (November 7). National Job Action Day is a day to recognize and empower individuals to pursue their dream job. We can’t think of a better day to raise awareness of our programs than a day dedicated to taking action toward a fulfilling career. Thank you to our Career Development Specialists for doing this work with the commitment to our vision of Strengthening the Workforce.
  • In addition to raising awareness, November observes International Students Day (November 17)  which celebrates multiculturalism and highlights the importance of International Students.
  • As we make our way through the holiday season, we celebrate Veterans’ Day and Thanksgiving Day. OBT honors those who served in our armed forces – THANK YOU! Our gratitude continues as the month draws to a close with Thanksgiving, and in celebration, the OBT team is hosting all-staff potlucks at our Sunset Park and Bushwick Offices. It’s an opportunity for our teams to share a meal and give thanks. We wish you and your family a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
  • In my last letter, we noted that New York City has experienced an influx of approximately 17,000 asylum seekers. In the past month, OBT has humbly served an estimated fifty (50) asylum seekers from Venezuela. To support them, we have coordinated with our community partners to develop a resource bank. As a result, we have been able to gather canned foods, distribute donated clothes, provide free books/CDs/dictionaries, provide class materials, and ensure weekly follow-ups to ensure their safety and success.
  • Our Government Affairs & Public Policy team will join me for the annual SOMOS conference from November 9 to 13th. SOMOS’ mission is to unite the Latino community in raising awareness, advocating, and elevating social consciousness on public policy. We will attend workshops supporting upward mobility through educational empowerment, mentoring programs, and scholarships. Additionally, we will participate in acts of Service to help Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Fiona’s devastation to the island.

As always, THANK YOU for your dedication and support to our mission as we continue to implement our vision to ensure that the OBT community has an Opportunity For A Better Tomorrow.

Yours in Service,

Dr. Darlene Williams
President & Chief Executive Officer