“The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA) is delighted that the FY 2016 City budget includes funding for initiatives championed by FPWA and its coalition partners which promote upward mobility for under-served communities and low-wage workers and provide resources to address our City’s growing economic inequality.
|Initiative||FY 15 Adopted Budget||FPWA FY16 Proposed Funding||FY 16 Adopted Budget|
|Worker Cooperative Business Development InitiativeProvides for the creation and support of new worker cooperatives (worker owned and democratically operated businesses) and creates hundreds of jobs with living wages and improved working conditions.||$1.2 million||$2.34 million||$2.1 million|
|Access Health NYCProvides for culturally and linguistically competent outreach around health insurance coverage to populations who are uninsured and have barriers to accessing health care.||$5 million||$1 million|
|Day Laborer Workforce InitiativeEnhances the services provided by day laborer centers, which provide job referrals, workforce development, Know Your Rights trainings, and protection against wage theft.||$365,000||$500,000|
|Career Ladder Professional Development InitiativeCreates a centrally funded system to improve career advancement for social service employees, to include training and education, as well as wrap around support such as childcare.||$4.7 million||$5 million|
|Nonprofit Contracted Wage FloorEnsures a wage floor for all social service employees contracted by the City.||$24.7 million*|
|Cost of Living AdjustmentEnsures a cost of living adjustment for City contracted social service employees.||$29.1 million**|
We are grateful for the strong leadership of Councilmembers Maria del Carmen Arroyo and Helen Rosenthal for a $2.1 million enhancement of the Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative. Thanks to a first-ever investment in FY 2015, the Worker Cooperative Coalition has been able to incubate 24 new worker cooperative small businesses and is on track to create 194 worker-owner positions by this summer. Worker cooperative businesses anchor jobs in local communities across the City and build both wealth and civic leadership among low-wage workers. With this increased investment, we can address chronic long-term unemployment and underemployment by supporting the start-up of 29 new worker cooperative small businesses with positions for 295 new worker-owners.
We applaud Councilmember Corey Johnson for his leadership in championing a $1 million investment in the Access Health NYC Initiative. This program will increase the capacity of community-based organizations to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate education and outreach efforts to individuals who experience barriers to accessing health care coverage and information. This initiative is critical to ensuring that the most under-served New Yorkers will be informed about their rights and options as well as assistance in utilizing available health care services.
We greatly appreciate the support of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Councilmember Carlos Menchaca for the new investment of $500,000 to the Day Laborer Workforce Development Initiative. Expanding day laborer centers is right on par with other large cities and demonstrates the City’s continued commitment to support economic equity for all New Yorkers. These centers provide essential services to day laborers- an often forgotten, marginalized and exploited workforce who contributes greatly to the fabric of New York City.
FPWA also thanks the Mayor and the City Council for their investment in human services that support vulnerable New Yorkers. The FY 16 budget includes nearly $400 million for Run Away Homeless Youth, shelter beds and mental Health services; another $21 million in the Summer Youth Employment Program, ensuring more youth are better prepared to enter the workforce, and $3 million for the Department of the Aging to address the senior case management waitlist of nearly 2,000 individuals.
In addition, we are excited by the $11.50 per hour wage floor for contracted social services employees and $5 million Career Pathway System base-lined by the Mayor.
FPWA thanks the Mayor and the City Council for their commitment to improving opportunities for upward mobility and equal access to services in New York City. We look forward to working with the City to grow these vital initiatives.”