NEW YORK, NY – United Way of New York City (UWNYC) and Deloitte recently held their latest in the Dialogues@Deloitte series—an exclusive thought leadership event series designed to convene cross-sector stakeholders to explore specific issues facing our communities and to consider innovations that can impact the future of New York City. The event, Education Matters: Building a 21st Century Workforce, was hosted by Deloitte in its office at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The four-person panel discussion moderated by Errol Louis, political anchor for NY1 News, explored leadership as a key to student achievement and career success.
“Deloitte has a longstanding commitment to education, and to this city we call home,” said Allan Ludgate, Managing Director, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “Through our RightStep initiative, we support innovative models that help fill the gap in education for underprivileged students. And as a New York City employer, our future is dependent on a pipeline of talent that is prepared to thrive in the 21st century. We were thrilled to host this event with our friends at United Way of New York City, and thank my fellow panelists Sheena, Brandee and Irma for an energetic and provocative discussion. It will take the best of all sectors to help ensure New York is a city of opportunity for all its citizens, and events like this one are critical to creating the connections and collaboration we need.”
Topics addressed during the event included the impact of leadership on building a 21st century workforce, the responsibility of the business sector and government in educational achievement, how to fundamentally enrich our curriculum at its core to reach students from a diverse range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds and the latest innovations in education.
“We need to work together—business, government, and nonprofits—to address the issue of educational equity, and United Way of New York City has the power to form these collaborations and is proud to have such dedicated partners who can lead this effort,” said Sheena Wright, President & CEO, United Way of New York City. “Ultimately, we don’t want islands of success for a chosen few—all our students deserve opportunity. Convenings like Dialogues@Deloitte are important in order to understand the value and expertise that each of us brings to make a lasting impact on the lives of our young people and our city.”
According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Assessment of Educational Progress, nearly 80% of low-income 4th grade students in New York don’t read at grade-level. Studies have shown that reading on grade-level by the end of third grade is one of the most critical milestones on the road to graduation, college and ultimately a career. Addressing this issue is vital to ensuring our workforce is able to tackle the challenges of the 21st century.
“We’ve moved the finish line,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation, when discussing workforce development. “Leaders in schools are now charged with creating marathon runners, not just preparing students to run a race. It’s more than a high school or college diploma. Together, the field is taking it a step further. Young people will need to join the workforce. To do this, we need to inspire them to both believe in their future and also help them get those experiences that build the confidence and skill sets they need to succeed.”
“What is critical for successfully building a 21st century workforce is focusing on not only literacy and math, but we need to also help students develop life and career skills that they will be able to use throughout their lives,” said Irma Zardoya, President & CEO, NYC Leadership Academy, when discussing workforce readiness. “Leadership begins with principals; they collaboratively set the learning standards, inspire and motivate teachers and students—and these strong leaders galvanize the community. We need that.”
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About United Way of New York City
United Way of New York City (UWNYC) has been a trusted partner to government, corporations and community-based organizations for nearly 80 years. Serving low-income New Yorkers, UWNYC’s collective impact approach enables the diagnosis of neighborhood challenges and the design of solutions to expand education, financial stability, and health opportunities. UWNYC then deploys resources and volunteers while also driving policy change that is guided by measured results. UWNYC envisions caring communities where all individuals and families have access to quality education and the opportunity to lead healthy and financially secure lives. Learn more at www.unitedwaynyc.org.
Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including 80 percent of the Fortune 500. Our people work across more than 20 industry sectors to deliver measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to make their most challenging business decisions with confidence, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthy society. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries.
The Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy" approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.
NYC Leadership Academy
The NYC Leadership Academy is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that prepares and supports passionate, high-quality educators to lead schools that accelerate student learning and that increases the capacity of systems across the country to develop and support such educational leaders. For more information, visit www.nycleadershipacademy.org.