In winter 2017-2018, along with 14 workforce professionals, Kasia Tazearslan, Hub Associate, joined the Workforce Academy for Policy and Advocacy organized by the New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals (NYATEP). Within the last 17 years, NYATEP trained over 175 leaders from more than 115 organizations representing NYC and Upstate New York, increasing their capacity to engage in workforce development advocacy at the local, state and federal level.
The first session in November was focused on Workforce Development Landscape and the Federal Policy Overview. We dug deep into current issues facing workforce and learned basics of successful advocacy and phases of federal policy development. The December session was concentrated on State and Local Advocacy for Workforce Issues with overviews of the NYS and NYC Legislative Process and Budget, including an outline of the key players in the local and state government, and how to Advocate on County and City-Levels. The session ended with state legislative visits at the Capitol. We had an opportunity to meet with Susan Kaplan from the office of Senator Marcellino and Nicole Stewart representing the office of Senator Flanagan.
One the most interesting, challenging and exciting part of the academy is a team project. This year’s class developed advocacy strategies focused on youth unemployment, apprenticeship, supportive services, and individuals with disabilities. All the final projects were widely shared during the Advocates Town Hall and Graduation Ceremony, which brought together 2017-2018 class members Academy Alumni, and others interested in workforce advocacy and policy.
Big thank you to Melinda Mack, Madison Hubner and Jan Hennessy from NYATEP for an incredible opportunity to learn about workforce advocacy and to meet workforce professionals from across the state.