Mayor Kathy Sheehan has unveiled the third phase of Albany's Poverty Reduction Initiative. WAMC's Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas was at city hall for the announcement.
Sheehan presented an overview of the goals of the third phase of the initiative. It’s part of the Capital Area Poverty Reduction Initiative, a local effort to support Albany residents in finding employment.
According to city hall, goals include using a systemic approach to help local residents find jobs and keep jobs by broadening transportation options and giving them more access to quality childcare.
The program aims to recruit between 75 to 100 unemployed and underemployed Albany residents and provide them pre-employment training. City hall says another 200 will be able to use supplemental workplace services to reach a goal of stable employment.
Albany Medical Center Director of Talent Acquisition Leslie Duell says the 734-bed hospital offers numerous employment opportunities: "These include jobs in construction, housekeeping, food services, patient support and so many more. Working with the city, we're proud to partner with Mayor Sheehan and CAPRI, to achieve its mission of reducing poverty in our city by helping residents find employment that offers long term career opportunities, stability and future opportunities for growth."
Mayor Sheehan points out that Albany’s two largest employers are collaborating: "We have to come together and work as a system. We've got to get out of our silos and when we do that we can achieve incredible things. Who would have thought that you would have St. Peter's and Albany Medical Center working together on a program like this, because right you get into your day in and day out jobs and that doesn't necessarily happen. Who would have thought that we would be talking about working across educational systems and platforms to bring people the training and resources they need in order to be able succeed. It's really exciting. It's how you create a great city, it's how you create strong neighborhoods. It starts with providing people with the ability to provide for themselves, provide for their families, and build a life and build wealth, and that's really what this is all about."
Municipalities qualify for CAPRI based on the amount of people living there in poverty, calculated via the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010-14 American Community Survey Five-Year Estimate. In the Capital Region, Albany County has the highest total percentage of people living below the poverty level at 13.6%.