Program Areas | Higher Education

LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York: Grant Development and Evaluation of Program for Dislocated Workers in Queens, New York

A large urban renewal project undertaken by the City of New York threatened to displace hundreds of workers in automotive repair shops, food-service companies, and commercial hauling companies in Willets Point, Queens—a community that may have difficulty relocating these businesses due to their special needs for space or the current state of the economy. LaGuardia Community College—part of the City University of New York—tapped Metis Associates' grants-development expertise to apply for funding from the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Small Business Services to provide English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, computer classes, vocational training, and immigration services to those workers who could lose their jobs amid this development project in the shadow of the new CitiField baseball stadium. The resulting Workforce Assistance Program is engaging local community organizations and the existing public workforce system (into which LaGuardia is tied) to provide culturally-sensitive services to a community that has many immigrants and people with limited English proficiency.

The Division of Adult and Continuing Education at LaGuardia Community College is the largest continuing education program at a public college in New York City and a major employer and workforce-development presence in Queens. The college provides an array of services such as ESL classes, immigration counseling, GED classes, and job placement to a large immigrant population. It has drawn on its own, CUNY's, and various partners' resources to design, implement, and evaluate a continuum of recruitment, assessment, job-training, job-placement, and retention services to assist workers who are displaced by the urban renewal project. Metis has remained involved by providing technical assistance and evaluation services for the program. Metis activities have included a literature review, a review of program documents, focus groups, and a participant survey to measure the effectiveness and quality of program implementation and the impact of the programs on the population served. Metis has also helped LaGuardia staff in the development of databases and spreadsheets to manage their participant data.