7.5.19 – New Innovation Lab jobs data: 114 job placements from May, 2018 to May, 2019, and 41 jobs for Sunset Park residents

The Innovation Lab, the job training and placement organization operating out of Industry City since the spring of 2016, has released a new datasheet concerning its operations.

The datasheet, available for download here, is drawn from the Lab’s work between May, 2018 and May, 2019 according to an associated email sent out on 7.5.19 by Liliana Polo-McKenna, the CEO of Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, which now runs the Lab. (The text of the email is below.) The Lab’s partners consist of OBT, SWBIDC, SCO-Center for Family Life, Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, NYC College of Technology and IC itself.

According to the datasheet, from May, 2018 to May, 2019:

  • 877 individuals received services at the Lab
  • 738 attended a Tuesday information session
  • 366 received career services (“consisting of career coaching, resume assistance, referrals, and/or ongoing connections to job placement team”)
  • 201 were referred to a job interview
  • 30 were referred to a training or educational program
  • 7 were referred to “support services”
  • 119 took part in a “job training at the Innovation Lab”
  • and 114 received an “immediate job placement by the Innovation Lab Partners”

The datasheet also stated that:

  • 32.6 percent of the individuals vising the Lab were from Sunset Park, which works out to about 286 people.
  • 36.1 percent of those placed in jobs through the Lab are from Sunset Park, which works out to a total of about 41 people.
  • 80 percent of the 114 job placements were with IC tenants, which works out to about 91 jobs.
  • The average salary for job placements from May-December, 2018 was $16.19.
  • The average salary for job placements from January-May, 2019 was $17.60.

Finally, according to the datasheet:

  • 129 total businesses were “engaged” by the Lab, of which 93 percent, or about 120, are located at Industry City.
  • Of those 129 businesses, 17.8 percent, or about 23, hired someone through the Lab
  • And 25 percent of those 129 businesses, or about 32, “Participated in the Plan for Growth Program,” of which between 67-75 percent are businesses in IC.

Polo-McKenna’s email is below:  Continue reading “7.5.19 – New Innovation Lab jobs data: 114 job placements from May, 2018 to May, 2019, and 41 jobs for Sunset Park residents”

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4.13.19 – Update provides new Industry City’s job placement and training statistics

Updated job placement and training statistics have been posted on a website run by Industry City, sunsetparkopportunity.com. According to the file name of the document containing the statistics, the update is from 2.28.19. The file is on the IC site here, and is also available for download here.

According to the document, IC currently has 7,500 workers on-site, and more than 500 businesses operating on-site. (Note: this statistic contradicts a 2.1.18 report by GlobeSt.com which stated that IC had 8,000 workers on site.)

IC update 1

The document also provides an update on the Innovation Lab:

  • OBT’s record:  “20+placements on average per month since OBT took over day-to-day operation” of the Lab (the document doesn’t state if those are IC-specific placements, a point which should be confirmed)
  • Regarding those OBT placements: “Placements range from entry level food prep and retail to $20 per hour and up for manufacturing, design and tech.”
  • More on the Lab’s record:
    • “2,100+ participants engaged through bi-weekly orientation & recruitment”
    • “340 job placements” of which 30 percent are Sunset Park residents (a total of about 114 people)
    • 365 “local youths connected with internships”
    • More than 300 “businesses served”

Continue reading “4.13.19 – Update provides new Industry City’s job placement and training statistics”

10.17.18 – No response from Industry City to questions about latest job statistics

Spokespeople for Industry City have not responded to detailed questions concerning IC’s latest job statistics. Here’s the background:

(1) On 10.5.18, in response to questions about Industry City’s job creation record, spokesman Lee Silberstein said the development would soon launch a new website “containing more data and info than any other project of this type has ever offered to our knowledge. Data on the website will be periodically updated to reflect the steady increase in activity that we are experiencing at the [Innovation] Lab.”

(2) On 10.14.18, Mr. Silberstein shared that site, located at sunsetparkopportunity.com. In an email, Mr. Silberstein said the site was “still being added to, but is 90 percent or more complete.”

The job data on the site is contained in a presentation entitled “IC ULURP Presentation v. 4.6,” which provides details about IC’s redevelopment, including its current job totals. Among its key claims:

  • More than 7,000 workers are on the IC property, up from 1,900 in 2013
  • More than 450 businesses are located on the IC property, up from 150 in 2013
  • 20 percent of the people who live and work in Sunset Park have jobs at IC
  • 35 percent of Industry City’s employees live in Southwest Brooklyn
  • 10 percent of Industry City’s employees live in Sunset Park (zip codes 11232 and 11220)
  • To date, the Innovation Lab has “engaged” more than 1,400 individuals, and contributed to more than 250 job placements at IC
  • More than 350 “local youths” have been “connected with internships” at IC

(3) On 10.15.18, I sent Mr. Silberstein and three other IC representatives a list of questions concerning the information shared on the website. Among other things, the questions requested:

  • Clarification concerning the methodology of the site’s statistics, which appear to be sourced to a study IC presented approximately one year ago (and therefore would presumably be out-of-date)
  • Information on salary levels and benefits for IC workers, along with data on which jobs are full-time and which are part-time (this data was not provided on the site)
  • Information on the jobs the Innovation Lab has connected workers to, such as what kinds of jobs they are, and who they have gone to (this data was not provided on the site)
  • Information showing whether IC workers had advanced in their careers over time (this data was not provided on the site)
  • Clarification of key terms, such as “engaged” and “local youths”
  • Information on who had obtained internships at IC, and what types of internships they obtained (this data was not provided on the site)

In an email, I requested that IC either respond to these questions within 48 hours, or that they request additional time to get back to me. As of the provided deadline, I had not heard from IC.

— Posted by JVS on 10.17.18

10.15.18 – Questions sent to Industry City re: latest job and redevelopment presentation

The below questions were sent to Industry City spokespeople on 10.15.18. This blog will be updated with any response received:

+ + + + +

Thank you for sharing IC’s new website, sunsetparkopportunity.com. The below questions are designed to provide additional clarity for the public’s benefit…

(1) Questions on data sourcing:

The workforce data in IC’s current presentation primarily references the “HR&A analysis of Industry City Employee Survey, 2017.” This appears to be the same survey Mr. Kimball referred to at IC’s scoping hearing in October, 2017, based on the attribution of the slideshow IC distributed publicly.

However, certain baseline metrics have changed during the past year. In October, 2017, Mr. Kimball said that IC had 6,500 employees on site. Now, IC says it has more than 7,000 (slide 18 of the current presentation). In Oct. 2017, Mr. Kimball said that close to 140 people had been placed in IC jobs through the Innovation Lab. Now, IC says the Lab has led to more than 250 job placements (slide 28). To clarify:

– Slides 19-21 provide workforce residency, age, and education data sourced to “HR&A analysis of Industry City Employee Survey, 2017” and, in the case of slide 20, “EMSI.”
– Slide 22 of the current presentation states that 20 percent of the people who live and work in Sunset Park have jobs at IC. That statistic aligns with one offered in 2017 (slide 18 of that presentation). Both stats are sourced to “U.S. Census Bureau, Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD); HR&A analysis of Industry City Tenant Survey, 2017”
– Slide 23 states that 10 percent of IC’s current workforce lives in Sunset Park. That is sourced to an “HR&A analysis of Industry City vendor data.”

Can you confirm how the current statistics were derived? Did IC combine its 2017 HR&A analysis with an updated analysis done during the past year? I ask because I assume contemporary calculations weren’t based solely on the 2017 HR&A analysis. Continue reading “10.15.18 – Questions sent to Industry City re: latest job and redevelopment presentation”

10.14.18 – Industry City debuts new job creation and redevelopment website

On 10.5.18, Industry City spokesman Lee Silberstein said the development would soon launch a new website “containing more data and info than any other project of this type has ever offered to our knowledge. Data on the website will be periodically updated to reflect the steady increase in activity that we are experiencing at the [Innovation] Lab.”

On 10.14.18, Silberstein confirmed that the site was live: sunsetparkopportunity.com

In an email, he added that the site is “Still being added to, but is 90 percent or more complete.”

The site provides a redevelopment timeline for IC, links that direct job seekers and entrepreneurs to the Innovation Lab, and text at the top which reads:

For 125 years, Industry City has been opportunity in the neighborhood.  In fact, today more Sunset Park residents work at Industry City than at any other place in the neighborhood. Jobs. Entrepreneurship.  Community events. All come together at Industry City.

The site also links to a presentation entitled “IC ULURP Presentation v. 4.6,” which provides further detail about IC’s redevelopment.

The presentation presents statistics which seem to align with IC’s previous public statements. Selections are below, followed by the full file:

Slide 5

Slide 1

Slide 2

Slide 3

Slide 4

This blog will be updated as more information is obtained.

— Posted by JVS on 10.14.18

10.5.18 – Industry City shares new information on programming at the Innovation Lab

On 10.5.18, Industry City spokesman Lee Silberstein shared new information via email concerning programming at the Innovation Lab. The full text of the email is below, in italics. I highlighted several parts, for emphasis.

As you may know, the Innovation Lab (the Lab) at Industry City is unique in that a private owner has built-out and provided free space to community workforce development partners.  In addition to providing free space, we are proud of our role in effectively partnering with numerous local workforce development groups as well as universities, colleges, and local schools while facilitating introductions to our tenants and supporting outreach and marketing efforts in the community regarding the services available at the Lab. 

Programmatic offerings at and operation of Innovation Lab are continually being fine-tuned and updated to offer solutions to challenges that confront the area as they emerge.  One significant change occurred in the Spring of 2018 when Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (OBT) took on the lead role coordinating the day to day activity at the Lab.

In addition to OBT’s lead role, here is a summary of current activities and responsibilities:

  • OBT, Brooklyn Workforce Innovations (BWI), and Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation (SBIDC) collaborate on pre-screening of candidates, job placements and training programs;
  • OBT provides its Web and Coding Fundamentals Training program targeting 18-24 year olds;
  • SBIDC offers its Plan for Growth small business training program;
  • CUNY City Tech offers ESOL and Citizenship classes as well as targeted small business training programs.
  • The Center for Family Life and Turning Point regularly send local job seekers to our weekly information and pre-screening sessions.

Outside of these core initiatives, the Innovation Lab is offering other complementary trainings and programs.  Examples include: ESOL classes with the Jewish Community Council of Greater NY; Periodic women’s health programming with Mixteca; Local small business outreach and procurement assistance in partnership with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce; NYU Tandon’s cyber security training program provided to 30 young women from Sunset Park High School this summer; NYU Tandon’s Veterans Lab at Industry City used the Lab to host Veteran entrepreneurship classes this summer; and AECOM’s partnership with Sunset Park High School to provide engineering internships to 20 Sunset Park High School students.  In addition, every summer, Industry City facilitates approximately 75 paid internships for local youth with its tenants. 

We are proud that since its opening in 2016, the Lab has served over 1400 individuals and 300 businesses.  In addition, over 250 direct placements have been made with businesses, with 65% of those placements going to Sunset Park residents, and over 350 young people have benefited from internships, the majority also being local residents. 

You’ll be happy to know that within the next two weeks the web site we’ve discussed will be launched, containing more data and info than any other project of this type has ever offered to our knowledge.  Data on the website will be periodically updated to reflect the steady increase in activity that we are experiencing at the Lab.

Finally, as a private venture, you can understand that proprietary information we receive from our tenants will remain confidential. 

In response, I sent Mr. Silberstein the following questions:

1) You wrote, “the Lab has served over 1400 individuals and 300 businesses.” For clarity, can you define “served” in this context?

2) A related question: does the 1,400 number include all programming at the Lab, including all of the programming you listed?

3) Is IC able to break down this number in a more detailed way? You wrote that 20 Sunset Park High School students took part in AECOM’s engineering internship, while 30 young women took part in the NYU Tanden programming. Do similar participation numbers exist for other IC programming? And if so, would we be able to find out where participants are coming from?

4) You wrote: “Over 250 direct placements have been made with businesses, with 65% of those placements going to Sunset Park residents.” Do you have data on where those businesses are located? How many in IC, how many elsewhere?

5) You wrote: “Over 350 young people have benefited from internships, the majority also being local residents.” Do you have data on where those internships took place – how many in IC, how many elsewhere?

6) You wrote: “within the next two weeks the web site we’ve discussed will be launched, containing more data and info than any other project of this type has ever offered to our knowledge.” Can you share any detail about what specific data will be shared on this site going forward? Critically, will the site share wage and benefits data for job placements, and will it indicate whether the jobs are full or part-time?

7) Will the data on this site pertain specifically to the work of the Innovation Lab? Or will it include all of IC, as with your two previously announced tenant surveys?

8) You wrote, “Data on the website will be periodically updated to reflect the steady increase in activity that we are experiencing at the Lab.” Can you specify what is meant by “periodically” – quarterly? Annually?

This blog will be updated with any response received.

BACKGROUND:

On 9.26.18, staffers with Councilman Carlos Menchaca said they had scheduled a meeting with Industry City representatives for Friday, Sep. 28. “The agenda includes several items,” spokesman Anthony Chiarito said, “one of which is a discussion of their workforce development efforts.” He continued (in italics):

“We plan to ask them to outline for us how they are managing, coordinating, and supporting the efforts of their workforce providers in the Innovation Lab, i.e. what IC staff are part of the lab, what kinds of support they are providing, and who is tracking the lab’s success.”

On 10.3.18, the staffers shared information on what they learned at the meeting – below, in italics:

  • When they [IC] talk with their tenants, they constantly ask them if there are any hiring needs that could be satisfied by the Innovation Lab. If so, then they work with the tenants to link up with the Innovation Lab for hiring purposes. These efforts take up about 10% of staff time. (Note: this bullet point was updated to more accurately reflect what Mr. Menchaca’s staffers were told.)
  • OBT is effectively in charge of running the Innovation Lab, so IC’s role is more to coordinate and manage by extracting commitments from tenants to hire locally.
  • IC claims they are tracking every employer’s hiring practices, # of jobs that go to locals, # of connections made from Innovation Lab, etc. (Note: this bullet point was updated to more accurately reflect what Mr. Menchaca’s staffers were told.)
  • IC says they are going to rollout a new website that will publicize these statistics. (Unclear if they mean separate website from current, or just a page).

In response to this, I sent a set of questions to Industry City on 10.3.18. I asked (in italics):

(1) Mr. Menchaca’s staffers wrote: “OBT is effectively in charge of running the Innovation Lab, so IC’s role is more to coordinate and manage by extracting commitments from tenants to hire locally.”

Question: There are four partner organizations listed on the Lab’s website: OBT, SBIDC, City Tech, and the Center for Family Life. Are City Tech, the Center for Family Life, and SBIDC still running programming at the Lab? If so, what specific information can IC share about their activities and impact?

(2) Mr. Menchaca’s staffers wrote: “IC claims they are tracking every employer’s hiring practices, # of jobs that go to locals, # of connections made from Innovation Lab, etc.”

Question: Will the most updated collection of this data be made available to the public? If so, when, and in what form?

(3) Relatedly, Mr. Menchaca’s staffers wrote: “IC says they are going to rollout a new website that will publicize these statistics.”

Question: When will this site be made public? How often will it be updated? What specific information will it contain?

The information from IC at the top of this post came in response to these questions.

— Posted by JVS on 10.5.18

10.3.18 – Questions sent to Industry City re: latest information on the Innovation Lab

On 10.3.18, I sent the below email to spokespeople for Industry City. This blog will be updated with any response received.

I’m writing about the Innovation Lab at IC. Earlier today, I received information from Carlos Menchaca’s office concerning a meeting his staffers held with IC last week. The information is here: https://sunsetparkreports.wordpress.com/2018/10/03/10-3-18-info-from-menchaca-staffers-meeting-with-industry-city-re-innovation-lab/

I wanted to ask you a few follow up questions:

(1) Mr. Menchaca’s staffers wrote: “OBT is effectively in charge of running the Innovation Lab, so IC’s role is more to coordinate and manage by extracting commitments from tenants to hire locally.”

Question: There are four partner organizations listed on the Lab’s website: OBT, SBIDC, City Tech, and the Center for Family Life. Are City Tech, the Center for Family Life, and SBIDC still running programming at the Lab? If so, what specific information can IC share about their activities and impact?

(2) Mr. Menchaca’s staffers wrote: “IC claims they are tracking every employer’s hiring practices, # of jobs that go to locals, # of connections made from Innovation Lab, etc.”

Question: Will the most updated collection of this data be made available to the public? If so, when, and in what form?

(3) Relatedly, Mr. Menchaca’s staffers wrote: “IC says they are going to rollout a new website that will publicize these statistics.”

Question: When will this site be made public? How often will it be updated? What specific information will it contain?

I am requesting a response by 3pm on Friday (10/5). That said, if you would like to respond but need more time, please let me know.

— Posted by JVS on 10.3.18