Jobs-Plus Cuts the Ribbon on a new site in East New York

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by Derek Moore

On October 26th, 2017, Restoration’s Economic Solution Center, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Next Generation, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Brooklyn Borough President's office cut the ribbon to the third Restoration Jobs-Plus site and the 10th in New York City Housing Authority properties. The residents of the Penn-Wortman NYCHA Development and the surrounding community in East New York will be the beneficiaries of this site.

The partnership will ensure that, despite the effects of redevelopment of East New York, long standing residents will have access to affordable housing, gainful employment, and community services. In the middle of a mostly commercial New Lots Avenue boulevard, members of the community will have access to economic resources and social services. Oyeshola Olatoye, the director of NYCHA Next Generation, introduced the partnership and Jobs-Plus initiative by of HUD, Restoration and NYCHA. Lynne Patton, Region 2 head of United States Department of Housing and Urban Development spoke about HUD’s role in public housing.

“Now more than at any other time, we must work now to end the racial wage gap,” says Tracey Capers, Executive Vice President, Programs/Organizational Development of Restoration. The site has been serving East New Yorkers since March. According to Olatoye, NYCHA operates 10 Jobs-Plus site in New York City, 3 of which are in partnership with Restoration. Since beginning a partnership in 2009, 7,000 New Yorkers have been placed in jobs. The East New York site is the first in an investment made by HUD.

Among those whom attended the ribbon cutting ceremony, members of the East New York community asked questions and shared their experiences about living in NYCHA developments, and using the services of Jobs-Plus. Penn-Wortman resident Sherman Dardin shared his story about living in a NYCHA development for 17 years and his career as a Jobs-Plus Career Coach. “Jobs-Plus isn’t just a job, it’s helping the community.” After much hardship, Dardin prepared to begin a career in Career Coaching. His son has recently been accepted to Princeton University. The services he received helped him and his son achieve the success they’ve always known they were capable of. Though the site has only recently opened its doors, it has already made a positive impact on its surrounding community.