NYC’s Center for Economic Opportunity Wins Harvard Government Award

An anti-poverty initiative launched by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2006 is being recognized for its cross-agency approach.
by | February 13, 2012 AT 5:00 PM

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government awarded New York City’s Center for Economic Opportunity with its Innovations in American Government award this week. The center, established in 2006, creates and evaluates programs that target urban poverty. Over the last five years, it has brought together 28 city agencies to manage more than 50 anti-poverty programs. One of its ventures includes the Sector-Focused Career Centers. Developed with city’s Department of Small Business Services, the centers offer training and career guidance in high-growth industries like health care, manufacturing and transportation. Training materials for job candidates are designed with guidance from businesses within that sector, insuring better placement rates and higher hourly wages for program participants. As another testament to the center’s success, it received a five-year Social Innovation Fund grant from the Obama Administration to replicate five of its anti-poverty programs in cities like Kansas City, Mo.; Newark, N.J.; Tulsa, Okla.; Cleveland, Ohio; Youngstown, Ohio; Memphis, Tenn. and San Antonio.