In Major Decision, NYC Council & Mayor Restore $17 Million for Welfare Workers
Following weeks of pressure from Community Voices Heard and others, the Council restored $17 million in budget deal for Transitional Jobs (known as JTP)
NEW YORK, NY (06/25/2012; UPDATED 7/2/2012)-- Community Voices Heard, a community organizing group based in East Harlem, declared victory today when the New York City Council and Mayor Michael Bloomberg worked together to restore $17 million for the city's Jobs Training Program (JTP), which had been proposed to zero out.
The JTP program, commonly known as Transitional Jobs, are time-limited paid positions that offer people receiving welfare the opportunity to gain experience and training. They re-introduce welfare recipients to the workforce while offering a real paycheck. Transitional workers have job titles, supervisors, union status, training components, EITC qualification and social security credit. The training is with a goal of that at the end of the transitional period, people into paid, long-term employment.
Without the restoration from the Council and the Mayor, thousands of New Yorkers currently in the Work Experience Program (WEP) would not have gotten the opportunity for these paid positions and would have been forced to continue in WEP. Participants in the WEP program receive none of the benefits of the Transitional Jobs program and are continuously cycled through the welfare system.
Ann Valdez, a leader at Community Voices Heard, said, "The city restoring the funding for Park Opportunity Program is a huge victory for all New Yorkers. Every worker deserves a pay check and now each city agency should follow suit and have transitional jobs. WEP should be thrown out the window."
CVH helped get Transitional Jobs implemented in New York City in 2001 and the Council's decision to restore funding at this time of economic downturn means that upwards of 10,000 New Yorkers will be provided with better work opportunities than if the Bloomberg proposal had been approved by the City Council. The Transiitonal Jobs program was expanded in counties throughout New York State and the country thanks to the federal Recovery Act stimulus package.
Recently, CVH released a statement with dozens of high profile New York elected officials and other allies, such as District Council 37 and Transit Workers Union Local 100, calling for the expansion of the Transitional Jobs program in New York City and the termination of the Work Experience Program. The statement is available on the CVH website.
Community Voices Heard (CVH) is an organization of low-income people, predominantly women with experience on welfare, working to build power in New York City and State to improve the lives of our families and communities. More at www.CVHaction.org, www.Facebook.com/CVHaction, and www.Twitter.com/CVHaction