Since graduating two years ago from a small private high school in Queens, Ya’seen Madyun has completed a culinary training program and has attended security training courses, all in the hopes of landing a job that pays anywhere near $50,000.
In January, Mr. Madyun, now 22, sought assistance at one of the city’s Workforce1 centers. He said he was directed toward an opening at a Family Dollar on New Lots Avenue in Brooklyn, a good 90-minute subway ride from his home in Far Rockaway, Queens. When he arrived, 15 people were already waiting to apply.
“I’m used to a line,” Mr. Madyun said, adding that he never heard back about the job. He knows many young people in his neighborhood who are in a similar situation. “They want a full-time job,” he said, “anything 9 to 5.”
It has been a year since Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a $1.5 billion New York Works program aimed at creating 100,000 jobs paying $50,000 or more over the next decade. The program is designed to tackle what the mayor calls an “affordability crisis” by creating jobs in fields such as technology and life sciences.
The city, which is preparing to release its first progress report on its effort, declined to share detailed data about the jobs it has created so far. But a coalition of labor and community groups says one obvious need has emerged: They say the city needs to do more to connect people in the city’s poorest neighborhoods to the new jobs.
“The make-or-break question in the mayor’s proposal is: Jobs for whom?” said Jesse Laymon, the director of policy and advocacy for the New York City Employment and Training Coalition.
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