By Naeisha Rose
Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) has been reappointed as the chairman of the Committee on Civil Service and Labor. He was also appointed to the Committees on Land Use, Public Safety and Immigration and the Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses.
“When I took office in 2014, a full one-third of the city’s workforce was eligible for retirement within a few years,” Miller said. “We engaged our partners in government and labor to provide Civil Service 101 workshops throughout the city. I am proud to say that today, following years of decline, the municipal workforce has increased by 20 percent.”
One of the ways Miller managed to engage the community in getting careers in civil service was by helping to open a testing center at 118-35 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills, according to the councilman’s office.
Previously, Queens residents who wanted to work for the city had to travel to Manhattan or Brooklyn, according to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services.
The Civil Service Center in Forest Hills has computerized tests and is open six days a week, according to DCAS. The center also offers vocational training and seminars.
In 2014, the civil exams were decentralized, allowing management more flexibility in the hiring process and online job listings as well as applications, thanks to a push from state and city elected officials, according to Randy Paul Battaglio, the author of “Public Human Resource Management.”
“The opening of a new testing center in Queens, as well as the streamlining of testing processes, has significantly improved the civil service exam experience for everyone,” Miller said.
Worker protection and retentions laws by Miller and several elected officials across the state also helped thousands of jobs in the hotel, bus and grocery industries, by advocating for initiatives like paid sick leave.
“We championed the passage of an ambitious Paid Sick Leave provision that enabled working families to no longer choose between earning a living and caring for either themselves or a loved one,” said Miller said.
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose