Agency: New York City Department
of Housing Preservation and Development
New York, NY
Housing Choice Voucher Program Size: 19,000 Units
WtW Voucher Program Size: 700 Units
New York City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development's
Division of Tenant Resources (NYC HPD) noticed that WtW and FSS
families often lacked the crucial skills needed to obtain employment,
maintain a job, or increase employment income. Many families lacked
the basic English language skills and/or computer skills to even
enter into the workforce. A second challenge was the large number
(more than 2,200) of FSS/WtW clients, spread throughout a large
metropolitan area and coming from diverse ethnic backgrounds.
NYC HPD reached out to LaGuardia Community College's Division
of Adult and Continuing Education to develop the Career Advancement
Program (CAP). Although there were existing job training resources
throughout New York City prior to this program, CAP tightly linked
job training resources to the clients and programs of NY HPD. More
than 19 months of intense planning and coordination resulted in
the successful roll out of the CAP program.
CAP provides adult family members participating in FSS and/or WtW
access to career planning and job training through LaGuardia Community
College. Participants receive assessments from job counselors, who
help clients identify realistic employment goals and work with them
to improve related job skills. In addition, CAP participants are
assisted in job hunting and interviewing.
Developing CAP took significant time, energy and resources - more
than 19 months of intense planning and coordination. A local community
college well known for providing adult education for students of
all ethnic backgrounds, LaGuardia Community College had the resources
to provide NYC HPD's WtW and FSS families with job training classes.
Nicole Levin, Director of Special Projects for NYC HPD's Division
of Tenant Resources, collaborated with staff at LaGuardia Community
College's Division of Adult and Continuing Education to design a
way to link the needs of WtW and FSS families with the services
provided by the college.
The program's creators dedicated significant time to working with
the community college's staff to develop a proposal that clearly
stated the program goals. The intent was to design a program flexible
enough to be tailored to meet each individual's needs. To do so,
they asked themselves: "Who are the WtW/FSS families we serve and
what are their needs?" Asking these questions and thinking in advance
of program implementation about program goals and individual needs
helped the partners to develop an adaptable, useful and practical
The CAP program has three main components: career plan and assessment;
job training; and job placement.
Career Plan and Adjustment
The first step for a CAP participant is an appointment for a Career
Plan and Assessment Evaluation with an experienced career counselor.
This evaluation determines the participants educational and employment
status, as well as identifies short and long term educational and
employment goals. In addition, the evaluation attempts to identify
possible obstacles to achieving these goals. At the end of the evaluation,
the participant has developed a step-by-step plan to reach their
goal in three to five years.
The information gathered during the Career Plan and Assessment
is entered into the client's database so counselors can track
progress and identify additional self-sufficiency activities. In
addition, the database allows NYC HPD and LaGuardia staff to design
future curricula based on identified client interests and needs.
Participants are then encouraged to register for available classes
taught by LaGuardia professors. In response to the first 100 assessments
performed, CAP offered the following job training classes:
- Certified Nurses Aid Training
- Medical Billings & Records Training
- Entry Level Computer Skills
- Intermediate Computer Skills
- Preparing for the GED
Currently, 40 families are participating in classes, and CAP staff
is planning for a second series of course offerings. In addition,
CAP participants may attend classes at other New York City community
colleges if LaGuardia does not offer the class.
CAP participants also receive help finding employment. Employment
Specialists at LaGuardia Community College help participants write
resumes and provide workshops on locating a job. The Employment
Specialists have positive relationships with job placement services,
local employers and the Department of Labor. These relationships
help the Specialists match CAP participants to jobs suitable to
their interests and skill levels.
The CAP program has been in operation for approximately 7 months. Despite its newness,
it has already experienced many successes:
- To date, CAP has placed 15 participants in jobs, including positions such as
Maintenance Technician, Administrative Medical Aid Assistant, and Legal Secretary.
- Over 230 Career Plans have been completed.
- Program growth continues as more WtW/FSS families hear about the programs through
mailings, at meetings, and by word-of-mouth.
- For participants enrolling in its intensive summer training
classes, CAP is offering their children the opportunity to participate
in LaGuardia's"Children's College."
- Luncheons have been held to allow CAP participants the opportunity to network and
- Successful CAP participants are invited to meet with NYC HPD's Housing Choice
Voucher Homeownership counselor to learn more about participation in this new pilot program.
Contact Information: For More Information about CAP, please contact Nicole Levin at