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Industrial and Transportation Career Center Receives President’s Award for Commitment to Quality


President Doug Cotter and Executive Vice President Paula Bailey presented the President’s Award for Commitment to Quality for 2017 to the Workforce1 Industrial and Transportation Career Center (ITC) team on Friday, March 16.


The Workforce1 ITC, funded by the NYC Department of Small Business Services, is located in Jamaica, Queens and has a sector-focused approach to workforce development. Each year the ITC successfully places up to 2,400 NYC residents, veterans and their spouses into full-time jobs paying over $10 in the transportation, manufacturing, construction, wholesale trades, waste management, and automotive mechanic and repair industries.


Grant Associates selects the President’s Award winner each year based on the results of the quarterly quality progress reviews and scores from Finance, HR and PAVU. The ITC team enjoyed a catered breakfast, and each staff member will receive one extra PTO day. Congratulations to Director Monique Cole-Green and the teams at the ITC Hub Center and the satellite centers!

Grant Associates honored to underwrite the 2018 Dwight Brydie Scholarships

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Grant Associates was honored to underwrite the 2018 Dwight Brydie Scholarships at the California Workforce Association’s Youth@Work 2018 conference held January 9-11, 2018 in Sacramento, CA. The scholarships, which posthumously honor a longstanding employee of the Economic Development District who was a passionate and committed advocate for youth, were awarded to three very deserving youths to assist them in reaching their education and employment goals.


This year’s three recipients, all in-program youth from California between the ages of 16-24, have worked hard to get where they are today and have bright futures despite the odds stacked against them. A young man who grew up in an abusive home and spent time in juvenile detention who will become a firefighter; a young “Dreamer”, who has watched her mother fight breast cancer, pursuing her goal of becoming a journalist; a young woman, who came into this world a two-pound preemie born with fetal alcohol syndrome, studying hard to become a neonatal nurse. These young adults have overcome more obstacles than most of us could ever dream of, yet each one of them has the drive and perseverance not only to succeed in life, but to make a difference in the lives of those in their communities through the careers they have chosen.


Grant Associates is proud to partner with the California Workforce Association to recognize these outstanding young people and we wish them much success in their educational pursuits and beyond.



October 16, 2017

Houston, TX – Grant Associates, a nationally acclaimed workforce development company, announced today that it will begin a new partnership with the Gulf Coast Workforce Board and its operating affiliate, Workforce Solutions, to begin offering employer services, matching job candidates with employer needs in the 13 county Houston-Galveston region of Texas.

On behalf of Workforce Solutions, Grant Associates will market and promote Employer Service resources to a wide range of businesses in key sectors to build the talent pipeline for the region’s 140,000 area employers. Using a market-driven approach, Grant Associates will identify hiring needs and drive the area’s economic development by working diligently to connect businesses with the hundreds of thousands of skilled workers in the region.

Doug Cotter, President, said, “We are excited to bring our demand-driven sector approach to business services to Houston at this critical time in their economic development.”

Grant Associates will employ a staff of 20 Business Consultants who will provide a full suite of services to more than 26,000 employers in the Gulf Coast region.
The services will include building strong relationships with area employers, connecting employers to their local Workforce Solutions Career Offices, assisting employers with posting their available jobs in the state’s Work in Texas portal, connecting employers to training resources, and designing and executing custom solutions for industry-wide skills shortages.




CTE Industry Scholars Program helps students use classroom skills in real-life work settings

Nearly 200 employers participate in program to offer internships to CTE students

NEW YORK – Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced 600 high school students from 74 high schools have participated in the first year of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Industry Scholars Program, a new initiative that has connected CTE high school students from all five boroughs with paid internships at 189 employers in various industry settings. This summer, 397 students are participating in six-week internships. 203 students participated in internships this spring.

The new school-year and summer internships are part of a larger investment in CTE high schools, including opening 40 new high-quality CTE programs and strengthening and expanding work-based learning, including new apprenticeships and internships.

By 2019, CTE Industry Scholars aims to provide 3,000 school-year and summer internships.

“Through the CTE Industry Scholars Program, we’re preparing students for their future beyond high school, and giving them an opportunity to practice and hone the valuable skills they’ve learned in the classroom,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Equity and excellence means giving our students pathways to success after high school, and Career and Technical Education, internships, and industry partnerships connect our students with resources and experiences that will serve them in college and careers.”

“The CTE Industry Scholars program represents Chancellor Fariña and the City’s commitment to rigorous, high-quality Career and Technical Education that prepares students for careers in the 21st century,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City. “These new internships and investments by employers in work-based learning expose New York City students to real world job opportunities and skills. Employers are excited to continue partnering with the City as the CTE program expands.”

The CTE Industry Scholars also receive resume writing, interview prep, and other job readiness support over the course of their internships to ensure their success. In the first year of the program, CTE Industry Scholars are participating in internships in the following sectors: Automotive and Transportation, Business and Finance, Construction and Engineering, Culinary, Hospitality and Tourism, Information and Technology, and Media, Technology, and Design. Employers include the MTA, South Street Seaport Museum, Birch Coffee, Nobu 57, Square, Next Step Pictures, Metabronx, Karma Media, and the New York City DOE’s Division of School Facilities, which the Chancellor visited today.

The Chancellor met with some of the 39 high school students participating in the Division of School Facilities’ paid summer internship programs. Students are participating in Construction & Engineering internships, in fields from HVAC to the Division’s Energy Management Unit, where interns are developing a capstone project to make their high school more energy-efficient.

“We are excited to be part of CTE Industry Scholars, supporting our students’ development of career skills as they make valuable contributions to the Division of School Facilities’ work to provide safe, clean, and welcoming learning environments for all our students,” said Deputy Chancellor Elizabeth Rose. “We look forward to continued participation in this program that benefits our students and schools.”

During the spring of this school year, the CTE Industry Scholars program also supported work-based learning at CTE high schools and program across the City, engaging more than 2,000 students in career days, work readiness training, mock interviews, site visits, and employer tours.

CTE Industry Scholars is a new addition to the set of internships supported by the DOE – including the Bank of America CTE Summer Scholars which provides 125 annual summer internships in IT and Media, Youth Career Connect which provides 150 annual summer internships in IT, Media, and Pre-Engineering, and the Computer Science for All Pathfinders Mentorship Program which provides internships in computer science-related fields. In future years, CTE Industry Scholars – which is supported by Grant Associates, a workforce development organization – will consolidate these existing programs.

“We’re thrilled to kick off the CTE Industry Scholars program, empowering our students to see the world beyond their classroom walls. Students will be able to gain invaluable access to the life of our City, and work within thriving industries. In turn, our industry partners will come to know the intellect, passion, and worldview of our extraordinary students. Together, we are working towards our vision of equity and excellence and ensuring our students can see the end of their hard work in our schools not merely as a diploma, but as real options for their future,” said Phil Weinberg, Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning.

“Our continued commitment to the Bank of America CTE Summer Scholars program has been instrumental in helping youth gain invaluable skills and confidence in the workplace,” said Jeff Barker, New York president, Bank of America. “We’re thrilled that our initial investment and ongoing partnership have helped build a foundation for the expansion of new internship opportunities for NYC public school students.”

“We are thrilled to be working with the NYC Department of Education, Partnership for New York City, and NYC Center for Youth Employment to increase the quality and quantity of work based learning opportunities for the students of New York,” said Doug Cotter, President of Grant Associates. “We look forward to strengthening and scaling employer partnerships to provide thousands of high school students with exposure to work experiences and help build the future of NYC’s workforce.”

“The CTE Industry Scholars Program will provide our students with the quality hands-on training they need to succeed,” said City Council Education Committee Chair Daniel Dromm. “Thanks to support from industry leaders, these young people will be compensated while applying classroom learning in a work setting and honing their skills. Programs like these make public education more robust, and I will continue to support them.”
“The CTE Industry Scholars Program is an effective way to fully engage our city’s Career and Technical Education students. Paid summer internships will help prepare CTE students for career pathways in high-wage, in-demand fields, and learn invaluable skills through real-world experience,” said Council Member Mark Treyger. “I commend Chancellor Fariña for supporting equitable educational opportunities for all of our city’s students.”

CTE Industry Scholars is aligned to the Mayor and Chancellor’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda, which aims to ensure that by 2026, 80 percent of students graduate high school on time and two-thirds of graduates are college ready. Building on record-high graduation rates, record-low dropout rates, and a high-quality pre-K seat for every New York City 4-year-old, Equity and Excellence for All is creating a path from pre-K to college and careers for every child in every neighborhood in New York City.



NEW YORK, NY – The NYC Business Solutions Bronx Center was the selected venue to host the 5000TH M/WBE Certified Award.

The event featured an address by Richard Buery, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives and Director of the City’s M/WBE Program, and Jonnel Doris – Senior Advisor at the Mayor’s Office of M/WBE.

Deputy Mayor Buery presented the 5000th M/WBE Certification award and Mayor Bill De Blasio’s personal letter of congratulations to Bronx Small Business Owner Miguel Cabrera of MC Transportation. Deputy Mayor Buery addressed the gathering and shared highlights from Mayor De Blasio’s goals for the M/WBE program.

Mr. Cabrera was assisted by Courtney Williams, Account Manager at the NYC Business Solutions Bronx Center to submit his certification application. He gave a brief overview of his journey to business ownership, and expressed his appreciation for the invaluable service he received at the Bronx Center. This sentiment was echoed by 12 other businesses who received their M/WBE certification through the assistance of the Bronx Center.

Also celebrating this award were Deputy Commissioner Deputy Kim Hardy – Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity, Deputy Commissioner Melanie Hart – Workforce Division, Yahaira Fuentes Director, BSC Center Operations, and Doug Cotter, President, Grant Associates.




NEW YORK, NY – Grant Associates, a nationally acclaimed workforce development company, announced today that one of the most respected leaders in the field, Marléna Sessions, will be joining on July 5th as Vice President of Public and Private Partnerships.

In her new role, Ms. Sessions will engage with national leaders around some of the most pressing issues facing local economies today, with the intent of creating new solutions to strengthen our communities.

Doug Cotter, President, said, “We are thrilled to have Marléna joining our team, after having admired and respected the work she has done for many years. As Grant Associates continues to grow and learn as an organization, Marléna’s breadth of experience and passion for this work will be an invaluable asset in shaping solutions that effect positive change in the lives of the customers we serve.”

Ms. Sessions said, “Grant Associates has an amazing story to tell, with over two decades of experience trailblazing innovative solutions, and successfully running and growing large workforce programs. I’ve long been a fan,and I’m excited to be coming aboard at such a critical time in our industry.”Marlena Sessions

As CEO of the Workforce Development Councilof Seattle-King County since 2009, Marléna Sessions has guided Seattle-King County to national prominence as an innovative leader in job training initiatives. The Working for America Institute named the organization one of the top four workforce boards in the U.S. The Council was also one of the inaugural winners of the National Association of Workforce Board’s 2016 WIOA trailblazer award.

Marléna is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Veteran-Serving Organizations (NAVSO), and a member of the Washington Workforce Association, serving on its Executive committee for several years. She also served on the Opportunity Center for Employment and Education (OCE&E) Policy Committee. She was the 2013 president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Workforce Development Council, and continues to serve on its board of trustees. Marléna also founded the National Advisory Group for Connecting Homeless Jobseekers to the workforce system, and has offered expert testimony to Congress.

Marléna holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Whitworth University.

CONTACT: Michael Levy
Director of Strategic Partnerships
(646) 358-4555


NEW YORK, NY – Grant Associates, a nationally acclaimed workforce development company, is celebrating the milestone of 20 years of providing collaborative professional services to businesses and jobseekers in partnership with government and community organizations.

Since collaboration has been the cornerstone of the company’s strategy for success, it is proud to introduce a technology, Symphony Notes™, which will allow all of a community’s resources to work together in a strategic way to advance customer outcomes.

Incorporated in 1997 as a Women-Owned Small Business, Grant Associates has operated award-winning business services and employment & training programs under government contracts in Detroit, Newark, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Tulsa, Montgomery County, MD, and New York City. In 2016 alone, 12,000 of the company’s customers found work, bringing almost $300 million in income to the communities served.

Executive Chair and Co-Founder Dale Grant said, “We pioneered a lot of strategies that are now common practice – like demand-driven approaches that start with local business needs, sector strategies that align employment services with local economic development priorities, and the innovative use of technology to measure outcomes and continually improve customer service. SymphonyNotes™ is the natural next step in our work.”

Doug Cotter, President, added, “We are proud of the impact that we and our partners have had on hundreds of thousands of people’s lives, and that we have been active across the whole spectrum of national workforce development – from helping people below the poverty line become financially independent, to helping veterans learn new skill sets, to helping entrepreneurs launch small businesses.”

Tracking customer activities and outcomes, SymphonyNotes™ is a platform for collaboration that informs organizations and funders on the activities that produce the best results relative to cost. Using artificial intelligence, SymphonyNotes™ will also be able translate the data it collects into action. “We are excited about how this product can change our work. It will allow us to further a ‘No Wrong Door’ approach as a foundation of workforce development, and support career pathways in the most direct way,” said Cotter.

Melinda Mulawka Mack, Executive Director of the New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals, said, “I have had the pleasure of working with Grant Associates in several capacities over the past 15 years – as a partner, contractor and now as a member. They have always been on the forefront of workforce development, specifically bringing organizations and businesses together to collaboratively solve persistent workforce challenges. Cheers to 20 years of success, and to 20 more!”

In addition to the introduction of SymphonyNotes™, Grant Associates recently launched a program to build business engagement in NYC Career & Technical Education (CTE) Schools, and next month will be launching four new programs with the NYC Human Resources Administration to help people on public assistance.

CONTACT: Michael Levy
Director of Strategic Partnerships
(646) 358-4555

ITC’s Deputy Director Participates in Policy and Advocacy Academy

Chris Wingert, center, with the NYC cohort on graduation day.


chris wingert picCongratulations to Chris Wingert, Deputy Director of the Grant-operated Workforce1 Industrial and Transportation Career Center, who participated in a three-month Policy and Advocacy Academy hosted by the Albany-based New York Association of Training and Education Professionals (NYATEP).


The annual Academy brings together workforce professionals from New York City and Upstate New York to engage in advocacy-focused seminars, activities and legislative visits at the state and local level.

Each cohort from the city and Upstate region was divided into smaller teams to develop a group position paper and advocacy strategy on a topic they felt passionate about. Once a topic was finalized, the teams identified the problem, determined why it mattered, developed the “ask,” and created a final policy statement and dissemination strategy.

Chris’s team, which included three other participants from nonprofit organizations in the city, determined that many companies wishing to use the wealth of data collected by the government and other private organizations have trouble doing so effectively.

The team concluded that two of the challenges companies generally have when sifting through data include:

  • Capacity: staff with limited knowledge and the skills to find, analyze and report on data.
  • Time: the need to know where to get specific labor market data at a moment’s notice.

Organizations typically need labor market data that is relevant to their mission or to a particular project. The data may at times need to be granular, for example: employment rates specifically for those within a certain zip code and who have only a high school diploma.

“There is a lot of labor market data available and it’s overwhelming,” Chris said. “It’s difficult for organizations to know exactly which tools to use to find out specific information when there is so much available.”

The team developed an advocacy strategy aimed at simplifying the process for accessing the abundance of labor market data through a proposed new web-based system that would provide organizations with guidance about tools to use based on the organization’s service specifications and reporting needs.

An organization would go into the system and create an account profile, providing details about the organization and the type of data required. The system would take this information and generate a list of data source suggestions that the organization would be able to use and store for future use. The system would use all of the collected information to adjust its recommendations for tools based on new data requirements.

The team’s advocacy method included:

  • Establishing a Statewide Coalition to convene organizations from across the state, especially larger urban areas such as Albany, Rochester and Buffalo.
  • Advocating by educating legislators from those areas
  • Pitching the proposed system to private philanthropic foundations that highly value data capture and reporting, such as the Robin Hood Foundation
  • Pitching to Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs)

The culmination of the group work was a formal presentation of the concept, using a PowerPoint titled “Demystifying Data – A Tool to Empower Workforce Development Organizations,” to the class, alumni and colleagues during the graduation ceremony, held on April 14.

“This project gave me ideas for what we can do to execute this concept internally as an organization.” Chris said. “Once we have proo

Chris Wingert, center, with the NYC cohort on graduation day.
Chris Wingert, center, with the NYC cohort on graduation day.