Adams, Banks unveil new program connecting high school students with apprenticeships at major companies

Adams, Banks
Mayor Eric Adams unveils new career apprenticeship program for public high school studetns at JPMorgan Chase headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. Monday, Sept. 12, 2022.
Photo by Ethan Stark-Miller

Mayor Eric Adams and Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor David Banks Monday unveiled a new public-private partnership program to place high school students in apprenticeships at major companies over the next three years,

The program, dubbed Career Readiness and Modern Youth Apprenticeship (CRMYA), is an expansion of the city’s Student Pathways initiative. CRMYA promises to connect 3,000 New York City public school students across 50 schools with apprenticeships at companies focussed on finance, business and technology.

Banks said enrollment across city schools is declining because “schools aren’t speaking to students’ passions” and CRMYA is a way to reinvigorate those passions by connecting in-school learning to real-world experiences.

“Career connected learning informed by expanding on our quality Career and Technical Education programs will ensure that New York City public school students graduate with real world skills and experiences,” Banks said. “It will give them a head start towards college and careers, will also help them build their post secondary plan and put them on a path to rewarding careers and long term economic security.”

Banks and Adams made the announcement at the JPMorgan Chase’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters. Also on hand were several to administration officials and JPMorgan Chase Chair and CEO Jamie Dimon.

Under the program, Banks said, students will earn entry-level wages between $15 – minimum wage – and $25 an hour and gain skills that’ll prepare them for the work world and a college education.

Adams said this is a way to remedy a system that has barred young people of color from low income communities from getting exposure to work experiences at major companies like JPMorgan Chase. And, Adams said, partnering with the private sector on programs like CRMYA is the way to give underserved youth better access to the work opportunities they’ve been traditionally walled off from.

“This is a moment that’s going to unleash and unlock the potential of people who have been just betrayed for so long,” Adams said. “We’ve normalized betrayal, we’ve normalized it.”

“We know every year, 65 percent of Black and brown children will never reach proficiency every year,” he added. “We knew it was happening to foster care children and we just kept on doing business. How the hell do you have leaders of our city not sit down with our industry leaders and say ‘we have to do this together’?”

The public-private partnerships supporting the program were with businesses associated with the New York Jobs CEO Council. The program will be funded by $33 billion from the city, the mayor said, as well as another $8 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies – run by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Additionally, Banks said, CRMYA will provide 15,000 9th and 10th graders across 50 schools with career-readiness skills. And the program will give teachers work experiences at these companies as well, so they’re more equipped to reinforce all that students learn through their apprenticeships.

“You see, it’s very difficult for the teachers to reinforce what we’re trying to do if they haven’t had any level of exposure to the 21st century workplace themselves,” Banks said. “So we’ve got to reach a number of dots that we have to connect, if we are really about providing true opportunity for our kids. We want teachers to have a deeper understanding of this work so that they can teach our students these skills themselves.”