We were thrilled with Mayor de Blasio’s announcement last week that NYC Parks will receive an infusion of $130M in sorely needed capital funds for open spaces in underserved neighborhoods. Our June report for New Yorkers for Parks put forward recommendations on how Parks could improve its capital project management, use its current budget more effectively, and make the case for additional capital investments. NYC Parks responded positively to the report, and the Mayor’s Office followed suit by increasing city support for these parks. See more about New Yorkers for Parks’ statement on the plan.
We’re also helping parks across the state. Public Works Partners worked with New York State Parks to streamline operations and improve customer satisfaction by preparing the agency to implement a statewide system to handle all customer transactions. Parks will also bring many transactions online instead of requiring customers to come in person in advance. Over six months, we engaged agency executives and field staff in facilitated working sessions to identify and validate key business processes; suggest improvements; and develop business requirements the Parks will use to procure these systems from technical vendors. Public Works also helped Parks to identify the most advantageous way for it to automate its various annual pass programs. (For this project, Public Works was engaged by the Open Space Institute’s Alliance for New York State Parks, with funding from the Foundation for Long Island State Parks.)
Closer to home, Public Works Partners is working with the East Harlem Community Alliance to develop a sustainability plan for their recently launched East Harlem Talent Center. This initiative, led by STRIVE, Union Settlement Association, and Mount Sinai Health System, and funded by the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, will provide East Harlem employers with access to employment candidates that are being prepared by the community’s rich network of employment and training providers. We’re helping the initiative’s sponsors to develop the initiative’s sustainability by knitting it into other workforce investments and exploring the potential to develop earned revenue to support ongoing operations.
And, last month, the Center for an Urban Future published two reports in which Celeste Frye provided perspective based on our work. In one, she leveraged our research on the city’s capital project management process to inform CUF’s recommendations in Re-envisioning New York’s Branch Libraries, particularly around the idea of an Library Innovation Fund. And in Bridging The Disconnect, a study that explored how the city’s workforce development programs focused on youth who are neither working, nor in school, Celeste shared ideas on how the system could be improved to move more disconnected youth into meaningful employment.
New Partners & Team Members
For the New York State Parks project, we partnered with consultant David Osborne whose firm, DO Consulting, leverages a wealth of experience launching and leading technology-based transformation projects for socially responsible organizations.
Moe Magali recently joined us as a project coordinator, helping to keep everyone here on point with many of the logistical details of our engagements as well as supporting us on client projects. Previously, Moe was a senior advisor for the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity. He’s also pursuing his Masters at NYU’s Wagner School.
We’re also recruiting a business analyst in New York City, as well as business analysis resources based in the Albany area. Please point highly qualified candidates and consultants our way. Here’s a description of what we’re looking for in NYC; Albany resources would need similar skillsets.
We’re excited to announce that our colleague Mark Lee has been promoted to senior manager at Public Works Partners. Since joining our firm in 2011, Mark has helped our clients to develop new programs, improve their business processes, hone their performance, and effectively engage the populations they work with in innovative ways, including social media. In the coming months, Mark will build on the work we do for many of our clients—applying information technology to manage performance and improve service delivery—by launching and leading a practice focused solely on these areas. We’ll share details soon but, in the meantime, please