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NYC DSS-HRA's Business Link Program: Connecting New Yorkers to Employment Opportunities

Photo credit: Source The Department of Social Services-Human Resources Administration (DSS-HRA) has achieved a significant milestone in its efforts to connect low-income New Yorkers with employment opportunities. In fiscal year 2022, more than 4,000 individuals...

NYC DSS-HRA's Business Link Program Photo credit: Source

The Department of Social Services-Human Resources Administration (DSS-HRA) has achieved a significant milestone in its efforts to connect low-income New Yorkers with employment opportunities. In fiscal year 2022, more than 4,000 individuals were successfully linked to jobs through the Agency's Business Link program. This represents the highest number of job placements in any fiscal year since the program's inception.

A Beacon of Hope in the City's Recovery

The Business Link program has played a vital role in the City's recovery from the pandemic. Despite the challenges faced, DSS-HRA's Employment Support Services Administration (ESSA) has been relentless in its pursuit of creating an equitable and inclusive job market for all New Yorkers. The success of the Business Link program is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the Agency's initiatives.

Bringing Opportunities to Job Seekers

One noteworthy event organized by ESSA was the first in-person Career Fair at Business Link since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 300 job-seeking DSS-HRA clients and public assistance recipients had the opportunity to network with more than 50 potential employers, including City and State agencies, social service providers, and others. This event brought together organizations like NYC Health and Hospitals, the Fire Department of New York, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Breaking Ground, and many more.

A Mission for Equitable Job Opportunities

"The Mayor's Blueprint for New York City's Economic Recovery focuses on creating and preserving an equitable and inclusive job market for all New Yorkers," said Department of Social Services Commissioner Gary P. Jenkins. "As part of this mission, we are proud that our Agency's dedicated initiatives have connected more than 4,000 New Yorkers in need to employment opportunities in fiscal year 2022 alone."

Empowering Individuals and Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

HRA Administrator Lisa Fitzpatrick emphasized the Agency's commitment to meeting the critical needs of vulnerable New Yorkers. Business Link exemplifies their dedication to providing meaningful support and tools to help individuals succeed in their endeavors and break the cycle of poverty. The remarkable progress made by the program, despite pandemic-related challenges, reflects the hard work and dedication of the exceptional team at the Employment Support Services Administration.

Building Equitable Systems

Business Link programs are designed to create and promote employment opportunities for low-income New Yorkers while also connecting them with job-readiness supports. Through initiatives like HireNYC, DSS-HRA ensures that certain social service providers with City contracts hire public assistance recipients. Additionally, the program offers incentives for both employees and employers, such as commuter benefits and wage subsidy programs, respectively.

Strengthening Partnerships and Expanding Opportunities

DSS-HRA works closely with partner agencies to diversify and strengthen the pool of employment opportunities for public assistance recipients. Recently, ESSA partnered with inclusive, employment-focused organizations NPower and Pursuit to provide training for low-income New Yorkers seeking higher-wage employment opportunities in the technology sector. Furthermore, Business Link actively expands its online presence on platforms like LinkedIn to spread awareness about the program and connect candidates and employers.

Testimonials of Success

Council Member Amanda Farías, Chair of the Committee on Economic Development, praised the proactivity and urgency of DSS-HRA's Business Link program in helping New Yorkers get back to work and spurring economic development. Council Member Carmen De La Rosa emphasized the importance of providing additional support beyond basic job search for low-income communities. Employers, like Center Light Health System, expressed appreciation for the program's efforts in promoting equity and inclusion in the workplace.

Business Link: Connecting Businesses and Job Seekers Since 1995

Business Link is DSS-HRA's internal job placement agency that serves private businesses, nonprofits, and job-seeking New Yorkers. With over 25 years of successful collaboration with employers and local, state, and federal agencies, Business Link has established a proven track record. The program matches job seekers to multiple job opportunities through various channels, including in-person, video, telephone, email, direct mailing, text, and job fairs. All of these services are provided free of charge.

The Department of Social Services: A Commitment to Serving New Yorkers

The Department of Social Services, comprised of the Human Resources Administration (HRA) and the Department of Homeless Services (DHS), is dedicated to addressing poverty, income inequality, and preventing homelessness. Through HRA's administration of more than 12 major public assistance programs and DHS's network of shelters and outreach programs, millions of New Yorkers receive the support they need. DSS plays a pivotal role in expanding opportunities, stabilizing lives, and ensuring that vulnerable New Yorkers receive the benefits and assistance they are entitled to.

The Business Link program is a beacon of hope for low-income New Yorkers, providing them with the resources and opportunities they need to thrive. With their unwavering commitment and innovative approach, DSS-HRA continues to make a positive impact and build a more equitable city for all.