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In the area of workforce development, UMEZ is singularly committed to investing in effective and measurable employment and training interventions that link Upper Manhattan residents to viable, identifiable, and anticipated employment opportunities. UMEZ’s Workforce Development Fund provides financial and technical assistance to catalyze employment and training in the neighborhoods of Upper Manhattan. The goal of the fund is to facilitate access to quality jobs and career advancement opportunities for unemployed—and underemployed—residents.
The UMEZ Workforce Development Fund only invests in organizations with a proven track record of delivering effective employment and training services to residents of Upper Manhattan. Organizations should be experienced in the engagement and negotiation with employers and the screening, assessment, and remediation of skills of participants. Effective projects culminate with the placement of participants from Upper Manhattan in pre-identified and preferably local hiring opportunities in the near term.
Given the changing nature of the economy and its labor markets, UMEZ is focused on employment and training projects within sectors that are forecast to grow and are accessible to entry-level workers. Among UMEZ target sectors are construction, healthcare, hospitality, retail, and energy. UMEZ is open to projects that fit these and other high-growth yet accessible employment sectors. Applicants should have multiple, ongoing projects in one or more high-demand sectors.
This is a demand-driven strategy that supports the building of skills and knowledge of residents in a way that responds to the needs and expectations of employers. UMEZ targets its efforts on high-growth, high-demand employment sectors where the likelihood of job placement and employment retention is greatest. As a consequence, residents acquire skills that are in demand and employers recognize Upper Manhattan as a source for a multi-talented and experienced workforce.
UMEZ focuses on the following interrelated objectives to achieve its workforce development goal:
These guidelines are subject to change at the discretion of UMEZ.
UMEZ contracts with employment and training organizations that are capable of producing scalable and positive impact on the local economies of Upper Manhattan. The strategy is centered on local organizations with knowledge and experience in the identification and cultivation of employment opportunities in high-growth sectors. UMEZ is most interested in organizations that can deliver and document effective delivery of employment and training services. UMEZ is committed to economic revitalization; these are not grants as much as they are contracts for services.
Toward these ends, the UMEZ Workforce Development Fund makes the following direct investments:
Preference is given to organizations that are located within the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone; are planning to locate to the Zone; or demonstrate a service population of at least 70% Zone residents. (Please visit the ArcGIS map to find out if your organization or constituents are located within the Zone’s boundaries.) Regardless of location, at least 70% of the individuals benefiting from the proposed project must be residents of Upper Manhattan.
Other parameters include:
UMEZ is particularly interested in organizations with an experienced management team, with a thoughtful, strategic work plan that reflects an understanding of the workforce development system and proposes a solution to a challenge faced by the constituency. UMEZ would like to support projects that use UMEZ’s funds to leverage or complement existing funding. Organizations and programs that demonstrate long-term sustainable ideas are encouraged to apply.
In general, UMEZ will not fund accumulated deficits; debt reduction or emergency funds; endowments and cash reserves; religious institutions; real estate acquisition; and sponsorships.
Particular to workforce development funding, UMEZ is restricted from supporting the following: