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Goldman Sachs kicks off second year of workforce development program at LaGuardia Community College

Goldman Sachs
A Goldman Sachs initiative to strengthen New York’s local talent pipeline is in its second year at LaGuardia Community College. ( Courtesy of LGACC)

In an effort to help local small businesses with the ongoing labor crunch, Goldman Sachs kicked off the second year of its pilot workforce development program, 10,000 Small Business Fellows, at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City.

The popular initiative creates career pathways for students while addressing the growing talent gap for the city’s small business entrepreneurs.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our country, but they’re also the first to face economic headwinds, especially during the pandemic,” Goldman Sachs Foundation President Asahi Pompey said. “Goldman Sachs research reveals that accessing a talented workforce pipeline is a major challenge for small businesses throughout the country, so we created 10,000 Small Business Fellows to tackle the issue.”

The survey found that 84% of small businesses said hiring challenges have worsened in the last three months, with 875 of those hiring finding it difficult to recruit qualified candidates. By connecting small business owners to talented community college students through fully funded internships, the program creates meaningful work opportunities while easing the burden of hiring and retaining talent for small businesses. LaGuardia Community College is one of the schools among four pilot cities across the country where the Goldman Sachs Foundation is facilitating hands-on internships.

“LaGuardia Community College students are incredibly talented and key to fortifying our local workforce,” LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams said. “I’m confident that their experience working with a small business through Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Fellows will complement their studies and greatly impact their future careers. When it comes to solving the talent crunch in New York, innovative workforce development programs for community college students is the key.”

Scottie Norton with his mentors Lynda Decker and Lani Tarozzi of Decker Design. (Courtesy of Goldman Sachs)

After working in retail management for more than 12 years, Scottie Norton enrolled at LaGuardia Community College where he joined the 10,000 Small Business Fellows.

“I applied for the program because I was intrigued by the idea of helping local small businesses while getting experience in my field,” Norton said.

Through the Goldman Sachs program, Norton began his internship at Decker Design, a marketing firm in the Flatiron District where he worked for the first time in the creative field gaining new skills in marketing, social media and animation.

“Having an internship was a requirement for my major but I also appreciated the fact that it was a paid opportunity. The program gave me the mentorship, financial stability and confidence I needed to enter this new career,” Norton said. “The Fellows program and my time at Decker Design really made me realize that I was making the right choice in pursuing a degree in digital media and that my past experiences could cross over and work to my benefit.”

Lynda Decker, the president and creative director at Decker Design, said Norton was very engaged and wanted to learn everything about her company’s domain expertise in financial services and law firm marketing.

“We needed more help than we were able to afford at the time,” Decker said. “There is a current war for talent. As a small firm, we don’t have the resources of larger companies and so we postpone efforts such as marketing. The program helped us implement some internal initiatives and research projects that we were putting off.”

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