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Mayor Adams, CUNY Chancellor Matos Rodriguez Announce Near $12 Million Expansion of CUNY Inclusive E



May 20, 2024

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Launched in 2022, Initiative Has Served Over 3,000 Students and
Built Connections to More Than 2,000 Industry Partners 

Expansion to Create Career Opportunities for 1,200 CUNY Students,
Thanks to Investment From Adams Administration and Private Partners

Effort Builds on Mayor Adams’ “Spring Jobs Sprint” to
Advance Opportunities for Thousands of Jobs Over Coming Weeks

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and The City University of New York (CUNY) Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez today announced a nearly $12 million expansion towards the CUNY Inclusive Economy Initiative, which leverages CUNY campus resources to create college-to-career pipelines for CUNY students. To date, the initiative — which first launched in 2022 — has served over 3,100 students and worked with more than 2,000 industry partners, advancing the city’s goal to connect 80 percent of CUNY graduates with careers following graduation by 2030. The $11.8 million expansion — comprised of a $4.8 million investment in the Fiscal Year 2025 Executive Budget and $7 million from private partners, including Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Bank of New York Mellon Foundation, Centerbridge, Bloomberg LP, and Goldman Sachs — will bring industry engagement, career advising, internship, and full-time opportunities to an additional 1,200 students annually across over 20 new academic departments. As the city reaches a new private-sector jobs high, with the lowest unemployment since August 2022 and the lowest Black unemployment in half a decade, Mayor Adams has kicked off a “Spring Jobs Sprint” to advance opportunities for thousands of new jobs over the coming weeks. 

“Our city’s future depends on being able to help our young people to grow, fulfill their potential, and thrive in an ever-changing economy — and that means investing in the future of CUNY students,” said Mayor Adams. “In our first year, we launched the CUNY Inclusive Economy Initiative to prepare young people for the economy of tomorrow by investing in them today. Now, we are building on that success with a near-$12 million expansion that will serve 1,200 additional students. Today’s investment and what we have done over the last two years by building equitable career pathways is about sending a clear message to our young people: New York City is still the place where anything is possible.”

“The CUNY Inclusive Economy Initiative is a critical component of CUNY’s mission to serve as an engine of upward mobility. By connecting students to careers in fast-growing industries like tech, health care, and green jobs, we’re working to build a truly sustainable economic model for New York City,” said CUNY Chancellor Matos Rodríguez. “I’m grateful for Mayor Adams’ leadership and the continued support of our private partners. Thanks to their generous support, we will connect even more CUNY students to paid internships, apprenticeships, and jobs, and make our campuses a magnet for businesses looking to hire talent.”

“As one of the very first commitments of the Adams administration in 2022, the CUNY Inclusive Economy Initiative creates college to career pipelines that are integral to our administration’s priorities. This historic $12 million expansion underscores our investment in young people, and the jobs of the future” said First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. “This significant public-private partnership expands on the initial work connecting students with jobs and advances the city’s goal to connect 80 percent of CUNY graduates with careers by 2030. This initiative is core to our priority of ensuring equitable access to education and career opportunities, and reaffirms that New York City can work for every New Yorker.”

“CUNY students and alumni are the lifeblood of New York City’s booming economy. They become the teachers, executives, entrepreneurs, and health care workers who nurture and grow this city, generation after generation,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Ana J. Almanzar. “This additional investment in the CUNY Inclusive Economy Initiative reflects the private sector’s increasing recognition that New York City’s greatest resource is our home-grown talent, which CUNY has in abundance. I want to thank our private sector partners for their commitment to investing in CUNY and the city’s next generation of leaders across various industries.”

“Today’s announcement is a testament to this administration’s commitment to New York City’s public institutions and to positioning New Yorkers to launch successfully into fulfilling, economically-secure careers,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “The CUNY Inclusive Economy Initiative exemplifies this administration’s vision for successful workforce development, including coordination with private-sector partners to develop and match talent to opportunity and aligning education, career preparation, and skills training to position New Yorkers for career success. Thank you to our private-sector partners for standing with the city as we create career pathways for over 1,000 more CUNY students.”
“CUNY is an engine of economic mobility that has served generations of New Yorkers and helped drive the city’s prosperity. Today’s announcement doubles down on an initiative with a proven track record of building the infrastructure and pathways to position students for career success,” said New York City Mayor’s Office of Talent and Workforce Development Executive Director Abby Jo Sigal. “This initiative embeds career success in the classroom from day one, allowing students to explore their career interests, build their professional networks, and develop their skills through apprenticeships, internships, career advising, and other career-connected learning opportunities. This initiative benefits both students in helping them achieve their dream career and employers who can tap well-prepared CUNY talent to fill their in-demand jobs.”

The CUNY Inclusive Economy Initiative is designed to bolster student career outcomes by creating connections with employers, and providing students with hybrid academic and career advisors to ensure they have the support needed to achieve their academic goals and professional aspirations. The initiative currently serves 17 departments across nine campuses on sectors ranging from tech to health care and to the green economy. Today’s new investment will expand departments and offerings, growing the capacity of colleges to prepare students for these in-demand fields and others. The CUNY Inclusive Economy Initiative will also support CUNY students in entrepreneurial and innovation skill-building by folding in the Blackstone LaunchPad program and its over 100 paid internship opportunities.

As part of this expansion, the initiative will begin offering students career opportunities in the financial industry for the first time by incorporating CUNY Futures in Finance. Launched in 2021 in collaboration with Centerbridge Partners, Bloomberg LP, and Goldman Sachs, Futures in Finance has exposed over 3,000 students at Brooklyn College, City College, and Lehman College to opportunities in the financial sector. As part of CUNY Inclusive Economy, Futures in Finance will continue to provide talented CUNY students with training, mentorship, and access to the financial services industry.

Additional enhancements to the CUNY Inclusive Economy Initiative include:

  • Expanding CUNY’s groundbreaking Degree-to-Career Mapping program to create employee connections that best match student interests and integrate career milestones directly into academic degree maps. 
  • Offering stronger academic advising with career coaching that aligns classroom learning with career readiness exercises and employer-vetted skills, ensuring students are better prepared to enter the workforce.
  • Engaging more faculty by embedding industry specialists into an academic department faculty that will receive current and real-time industry insights via the industry specialist, which ensures they can best prepare students.
  • Simplifying navigation by making it easier for industry partners to connect both to the industry specialists on campuses and the Industry Support Hub.

The Adams administration has made continued investments towards CUNY to prepare young people to enter and thrive in the workforce. Last year, Mayor Adams announced “Pathways to an Inclusive Economy: An Action Plan for Young Adult Career Success,” a $600 million, forward-thinking roadmap to build inclusive pathways for the city’s young people to discover their passion, receive hands-on career experience, and, ultimately, enter the workforce. As part of the action plan, the city invested $10 million to expand the CUNY 2x Tech to five new campuses, the first time the program served CUNY’s community colleges.

In June 2023, together with CUNY and the New York City Department of Education, Mayor Adams announced a partnership with Google as the first tech-anchor employer partner for the FutureReadyNYC initiative that provides meaningful career-connected learning opportunities, including career discovery programming, paid work-based learning experiences, and mentorship from tech professionals. Google is also serving as an inaugural partner for the CUNY Tech Equity initiative, which expands tech-focused career awareness from the first day on campus, advances curriculum innovation, increases the number of paid internships, and grows employer engagement with campuses.

Under Mayor Adams’ leadership, the city expanded College Choice, which provides college students in foster care with greater support systems, including financial support so they can attend the college of their dreams without having to worry about a hefty price tag. Through the program, foster care students can attend any college of their choice, including CUNY universities.

The Adams administration has made historic investments towards creating job opportunities for working-class New Yorkers. Just last week, Mayor Adams was joined by New York Governor Kathy Hochul and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to announce an agreement to transform the Brooklyn Marine Terminal into a modern maritime port and vibrant mixed-use community hub, with the potential to create thousands of jobs. The project also builds on generational and forward-looking projects across all five boroughs that Mayor Adams has advanced over the past year, including Willets Point in QueensKingsbridge Armory in the Bronx, the Climate Innovation Hub in Brooklyn, the SPARC Kips Bay life sciences hub in Manhattan, and the New York Climate Exchange on Governors Island, among others.

Additionally, Mayor Adams launched “Run This Town,” a multi-media advertising campaign to engage diverse New Yorkers and help them apply for thousands of available city government jobs. The announcement followed the launch of “Jobs NYC,” a multi-pronged citywide effort to reduce barriers to economic opportunities and deliver workforce development services directly to communities across the five boroughs that are experiencing high unemployment. Both campaigns are expected to further reduce the unacceptable disparities in employment between Black, Latino, and white communities.

The Adams administration also continues to host hiring halls to bring both public- and private-sector job opportunities to neighborhoods across the five boroughs on a monthly basis.

“We are proud to support this impactful program to prepare students for successful careers. Integrating LaunchPad into CUNY Inclusive Economy will help set thousands of CUNY students up with future-proof career readiness skills, no matter their path forward,” said Maura Pally, executive director, Blackstone Charitable Foundation. “We will continue to increase access to paid internships through Blackstone, our portfolio companies, and startups in our partner ecosystem, and expand career opportunities for CUNY students in New York City and beyond.”

“Bank of New York Mellon is proud to deepen our long-term partnership with CUNY through the announcement of the CUNY Inclusive Economy Initiative, said Jayee Koffey, global head of enterprise execution and chief corporate affairs officer, Bank of New York Mellon. “Given our roots and 240-year history in New York City, we are committed to continuing to find new ways to grow high-performing talent and create opportunities in the city we call home.”

“Bloomberg, Centerbridge, and Goldman Sachs created Futures in Finance in 2021 to bring firms across the New York City finance industry together to hire CUNY talent,” said Jeff Aronson, managing principal and co-founder, Centerbridge. “Over time, the initiative has deeply strengthened the connections between the industry and the strong CUNY talent pool in our backyard. Rolling Futures in Finance into CUNY Inclusive Economy will make the program even stronger and more integrated in CUNY’s campuses, so that even more CUNY students join our sector in full-time roles after graduation.”


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