On February 1, the New York City Employment and Training Coalition (NYCETC) hosted a Coalition Café, featuring research from the Monitoring the Minimum Wage brief series produced as a collaboration between the Workforce Professionals Training Institute’s (WPTI) Field Building Hub and the New School’s Center for New York City Affairs. The Hub’s Director, Stacy Woodruff, and consultant Sandy DeShong, provided an overview of the minimum wage increase that began in New York City in 2016 and will result in a citywide minimum of $15 per hour by the end of 2019.
Following the overview, Stacy facilitated a conversation among the nearly 30 attendees, representing an array of workforce providers and representatives from city agencies. The discussion focused on what types of conversations are workforce providers having with business partners about the minimum wage increase; what tools and resources would better prepare providers to inform and work with both business partners and clients; and what data or research questions about the minimum wage increase could help providers better navigate this and other macroeconomic changes taking place.
Workforce providers attributed some recent trends to the minimum wage increase, including reductions in the number of hours offered to job seekers and increased requirements for entry-level jobs. They also reported that business partners range significantly in their knowledge of and compliance with new regulations, including minimum wage rates and the Paid Sick Leave law – opening an opportunity for workforce providers to serve as a valuable information resource to their partners. There was a desire among those present to learn more about the regulations impacting workers and programs such as tax subsidies available to businesses and applicable to some client populations (e.g., young adults).
The Hub will continue to release briefs as part of the Monitoring the Minimum Wage series. The final brief in the series, to be released in the spring, will draw upon the valuable insights and questions surfaced during the Coalition Café, pointing toward existing tools and resources related to the minimum wage increase that workforce providers can draw upon as they work with both business partners and clients.
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