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**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE** August 20, 2018

Contact: Jose Medellin | | (646) 238-9133 mobile

Goodwill® NYNJ Hosts NYC HRA Commissioner Steven Banks at

YouthPathways Program in Brooklyn

 Goodwill Industries of Greater NY and Northern NJ Proves Success in New Model for Job and Training Services for TANF Youth with HRA-Funded Program since April 2017

New York, NY (August 21, 2018) – Goodwill® Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, Inc. hosted NYC  Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks and members of his executive team on August 20 to demonstrate how the Career Services YouthPathways program connects 18-24 year old New Yorkers to training, education and job opportunities. Since launching YouthPathways in April 2017, Goodwill NYNJ has provided comprehensive employment services to over 1,500 young New Yorkers and placed 281 young adults in jobs with a 30-day retention rate of 60%. As part of the move away from one-size fits all employment programs, the NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) funds the YouthPathways contract that Goodwill NYNJ operates.

Goodwill NYNJ designed and implemented a holistic program model tailored to empower youth to seek career advancement and income mobility.  The nonprofit piloted a youth-centric component in Back-to-work three years ago to address the challenges that young adults on welfare face in entering and remaining in the workforce. A strong body of evidence suggests that long-term unemployment affects young Americans not only in lost earnings, but also has “scarring” effects on these workers well into the future. Research has shown that unemployment early in one’s career can create a wage penalty lasting up to 20 years. Goodwill NYNJ  pilot was part of the research that HRA completed to design the new programs launched in 2017 designed to improve assessments, increase training and education and reduce punitive actions for TANF Youth in New York City.

Steven Banks, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Social Services/Human Resources Administration said: “Mayor De Blasio is investing in career pathway programs that address income inequality, expand opportunities for more New Yorkers, and ensure that they receive the benefits and assistance to which they are entitled. We work closely with Goodwill NYNJ to provide our clients with services that take into consideration their individual needs to help them secure better jobs and improve their lives.”

Katy Gaul-Stigge, Goodwill NYNJ CEO & President, said, “HRA is a partner in this youth-focused model that can be replicated in other TANF and workforce development programs. Goodwill is exceeding the goals set by HRA through our strong combination of training and retention services – basically giving skills employers want while connecting the individual to a supportive adult who helps them navigate work and finances.  YouthPathways is proof that nonprofits and the public sector can work together to tackle the negative effects of youth unemployment, and we can’t thank Commissioner Banks enough for his support.”

Young job-seekers like Aixa Figueroa, 20, discover new career opportunities through sector focused training and personalized career navigators. When Aixa joined the YouthPathways program in September 2017, she decided to pursue a career in the health sector. She completed hemo-dialysis training and her 250 hrs. required internship hours in July. Even before taking her Bonnent Exam, which is scheduled for October, she secured employment at Gateway Four Seasons Dialysis Center last June. In the meantime, she continues to work with the YouthPathways financial counselor to secure financial aid, while exploring colleges to obtain her nursing degree.

About the Human Resources Administration

The New York City Human Resources Administration/Department of Social Services (HRA/DSS) is dedicated to fighting poverty and income inequality by providing New Yorkers in need with essential benefits such as food assistance and emergency rental assistance. As the largest local social services agency in the country, HRA helps over 3 million New Yorkers through the administration of more than 12 major public assistance programs, with more than 14,000 employees and an operating budget of $9.7 billion. 

View HRA’s Guide to Services


About Goodwill NYNJ

Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, Inc. (Goodwill NYNJ) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which operates 38 retail stores throughout the region powered by donations of clothing and household items. Goodwill translates those donations into workforce development services for people with disabilities and the unemployed. For over 103 years, the agency’s mission has been to empower individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment to gain independence through the power of work. Annually, Goodwill NYNJ provides services to thousands of New York City Metropolitan Area residents – in workforce development, services for individuals with disabilities and retail training leading to employment to build better lives for participants and their families. Learn more about Goodwill NYNJ at; follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillNYNJ; and find us on Facebook or Instagram: GoodwillNYNJ.



High- and Low-Resolution Images Available Upon Request, including:

Commissioner Banks offering remarks

Commissioner Banks interacting with program participants

Commissioner Banks with Goodwill NYNJ CEO & President Katy Gaul-Stigge

Interview with Katy Gaul-Stigge, Goodwill NYNJ CEO & President, available upon request