NYC nonprofit and Cornell tackle urban youth unemployment with free online training

Earlier this year we quoted Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent calling it a terrible thing when 75 million young people are ready to enter the workforce but can't find jobs and opportunities to create value. And it is terrible thing that affects way too many young people around the globe. That's why we wanted to highlight this partnership between a nonprofit, a university and other local organizations that makes a lot of sense. – Philip Bane


The nonprofit STRIVE New York, seeking to broaden its impact on urban youth unemployment, is partnering with eCornell and local city organizations to support Serve UP Harlem, an initiative to prepare 18- to 24-year-olds for career paths in food service, customer service and hospitality.

The free two-week program combines Cornell University's Service Excellence On-Demand online training with job readiness training, basic financial literacy and employer connections and case management through the East Harlem Talent Network (EHTN), STRIVE's place-based hiring initiative.

Since its January launch, many of Serve UP Harlem’s 70 graduates have entered hospitality internships or begun the job application process with support from program staff. That support is enhanced by an integrated network of STRIVE partners. Students also build their personal networks through small classes, working together to complete the online training and then behind the scenes inside restaurants, wine stores and hotels.

The goal is that graduates leave the program with an in-demand skill set that differentiates them from other applicants, helping to close the youth unemployment gap and pave their way toward success.

"If I could complete this training, then I know I can do other education, training, or skills programs too and be successful," said Daquan, who graduated the training in February.

More on this topic:
Steal these ideas: 9 innovative approaches to reducing youth unemployment
From Cessnock to Dallas: 7 encouraging efforts to curtail the youth jobs crisis

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This article is from the Council's Compassionate Cities initiative which highlights how city leaders and other stakeholders can leverage smart technologies to end suffering in their communities and give all citizens a route out of poverty. Click the Compassionate Cities box on our registration page to receive our weekly newsletter.

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