Urban Upbound brings new jobs program to Queensbridge Houses

Urban Upbound founder Bishop Mitchell Taylor and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards talk about a new jobs program for Queensbridge Houses residents on Jan. 21. (Photo courtesy of Urban Upbound)

City and state officials joined together with Urban Upbound to announce the launch of the Jobs-Plus program in Queensbridge Houses on Friday, Jan. 21.

Urban Upbound is a nonprofit founded by Bishop Mitchell Taylor, a lifelong resident of the Queensbridge Houses, bringing high-quality services to residents in New York City.

The new Jobs-Plus program will provide residents with financial counseling and education services. Financial counselors will help residents obtain access to resources like food stamps and health benefits. 

“Urban Unbound is proud to finally cut the ribbon on the first official city-funded Jobs-Plus site in Queensbridge Houses,” Taylor said. “This is a historic event and we look forward to creating community support for work. Neighbors are working with neighbors to create a vibrant workforce and career track for residents in public housing.”

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney attended the announcement ceremony commending Taylor and Urban Upbound for its work, especially as the ongoing pandemic has resulted in many people losing their jobs. 

“New York City bore the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis. Millions of New Yorkers are still struggling to find jobs,” Maloney said. “I commend the Bishop for starting the Jobs-Plus program, which will increase the earnings and employment of working-age residents in designated public housing developments. I am very excited about this program and look forward to working with Bishop on it.”

According to Urban Upbound, a recent program evaluation showed participants after one year in the Jobs-Plus program are 72% more likely to be employed and earned 32% more than others not in the program.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards also joined the ceremony, commenting on the historically underserved families that will benefit from the services Urban Upbound is bringing to Queensbridge Houses. 

“With the growing Jobs-Plus program expanding into the Queensbridge Houses, we’re creating a new pathway toward prosperity for thousands of our neighbors,” Richards said. “From employment opportunities to financial counseling and beyond, Jobs-Plus will make a world of difference in the lives of so many Queensbridge families and we look forward to partnering with Urban Upbound every step of the way.”