IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

NYC Announces Vocational Training Program for Foster Youth

The V-CRED program, operated by the city and the City University of New York, will offer free vocational training in information technology, electrical work, certified nursing, pharmacy technology and building trades.

vocational education
(TNS) — Mayor Adams pledged to make vocational training for foster care children a “hallmark” of his administration as he rolled out a new program on Tuesday aimed at giving the vulnerable kids a better shot at entering the city’s workforce.

The new program, operated by the city Administration for Children’s Services and the City University of New York with funding assistance from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, will provide free vocational training in five different fields of work for youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who grew up in foster care, Adams said.

“We’ve failed foster care children for far too long,” Adams said during a press conference at Kingsborough Community College in southern Brooklyn, where the vocational classes will be taught.

“They are more likely to be unemployed, more likely to be a victim of a crime, or dealing with criminal behavior, more likely to deal with mental health issues, so we just ignored this population. It fed the problems we have in this city.”

The program, dubbed V-CRED, will offer career prep in information technology, electrical work, certified nursing, pharmacy technology and building trades, according to City Hall. The classes open the door for apprentices to work as pharmacy technicians, EMTs and electrician assistants, among other posts.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is kicking in $200,000 per year to the initiative for starters, said ACS Commissioner Jess Dannhauser, who appeared with Adams for the announcement. Additional resources will be allocated via ACS, Dannhauser said, though he did not provide an exact dollar figure.

Educational disparities among foster care kids have long been a problem for the city. Adams said only about 20% of kids leave the foster care system with a high school diploma, while less than 3% graduate from college.

V-CRED will launch as a two-year pilot program, with 45 youth expected to receive training per year.

That’s a relatively small portion of the roughly 6,700 kids who age out of the foster care system in the city every year — but Adams said he’s going to push for an expansion of the program after the pilot phase.

“We’re going to invest more in the next budget cycle,” he said. “This is going to be a hallmark of our reaching out for young people.”

©2022 New York Daily News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.