New data suggests the existing NYC talent pipeline is not working for many New Yorkers, who are currently at a disadvantage compared to US-born jobseekers from other states:

  • Individuals born in NY have lower rates of college attainment, employment, and earnings than those born in other states. This dynamic is even worse for Blacks and Latinxs born in NY, who show even deeper disparities compared to those from other states, particularly in relation to landing in good-paying occupations. Only 14% of NY residents employed in mid-high wage occupations are NY-born Blacks or Latinxs. Two-thirds of Black and Latinx workers are in low-wage occupations, compared to only one-third of out-of-state born workers.
  • The story we tell ourselves that just getting our youth to college will address these disparities does not hold up to scrutiny. It is true that Blacks and Latinxs in NY are less likely to have attended college, but college attainment does not neatly predict positive outcomes for Black and Latinx New Yorkers. Blacks and Latinxs with college degrees remain twice as likely to work in low-wage occupations: 40% of in-state born Black and Latinx college degree holders work in low-wage occupations.

The challenges presented by these data suggest that policymakers need to consider new approaches to ensure that New Yorkers can compete in today’s labor market, while offering employers better prepared local talent. The movement to expand braided pathways, which foster deeper connections between school and work, offer a set of policies and investments to accomplish this dual goal, including:

  • Support for all students to have paid, accredited work experiences during high school with schools having resources and staffing to support them.
  • Colleges, and particularly CUNY, should offer hands-on work experiences in every course of study/major; as well as offering credit to students for working while attending school.
  • New York should expand paid, work-based programs that bridge transitions from high school and college, such as apprenticeships and service years, to put students on a well-supported path toward success.
Download H2H-Labor-Market-Paper_August-2021.pdf
Our Braided Pathways RFP is now closed for submissions. Stay tuned for our grantee announcement in September!