Forrest Solution’s Partnership with Phipps Neighborhood & the Summer Youth Employment Program

Mission Statement of Organization

Phipps Neighborhoods was established in 1972 as the human services affiliate of Phipps Houses, the oldest and largest affordable housing developer in New York City. Over its 49-year span, Phipps Neighborhoods has connected community members to the skills, knowledge, and opportunity they needed for success in school and work.

Through comprehensive wrap-around supports for youth and families, Phipps Neighborhoods programs support healthy residents living in vibrant, opportunity-filled communities. As its stated mission, “Phipps Neighborhoods works toward a New York City in which no one is caught in the cycle of poverty. We provide children, youth, and families in low-income neighborhoods the opportunities they need to thrive through comprehensive education, career programs, and access to community services.” Phipps Neighborhoods serves over 10,000 children, youth, and families through various programs, including after school, summer day camp, workforce programs such as: SYEP, Career Network: Healthcare, and Opportunity Youth. This summer it served approximately 575 young adults in the Summer Youth Employment Program.

Forrest Solutions is proud to be a partner of Phipps Neighborhoods Summer Youth Employment Program and we were delighted to have accepted eight young adults into our 5-week summer internship program for 2021.  Even more exciting, we made two offers to hire two of the interns at the end of the program and one was placed at a client site!

The partnership program is led by Forrest Solution’s Vice President of Operations, Marcos BrionesIn addition to hands on learning, interns attend Forrest Solutions University or FSU, a micro-learning management system designed to allow our interns opportunities to learn in small, digestible chunks, anytime and anywhere they want. We have set up a curriculum on this platform with courses assigned based on roles, skill level, and employees’ specific needs.

We met with Phipps Neighborhood’s Rosemary Ordonez-Jenkins, Deputy Executive Director for Community and Economic Empowerment and has been with the organization for over twenty years. We also spoke to Terri Saucier, a Director of Employer Engagement at Phipps, about their organization, their partnership with Forrest Solutions, and the SYEP or Summer Youth Employment Program.

Forrest Solutions: What is the mission of Phipps Neighborhoods?

Rose: Phipps Neighborhoods works toward a New York City in which no one is caught in the cycle of poverty. We provide children, youth, and families in low-income neighborhoods the opportunities they need to thrive through comprehensive education, career programs, and access to community services.”

Terri: In my role as Director of Employer Engagement, I develop partnerships for Phipps Neighborhoods. Marcos Briones and I have worked with young adults and adults for over five years, assisting them with employment and internships. For many of my young adults in the past, Forrest Solutions was their first job, and now they are either Assistant Managers or Site Managers and have moved on to larger jobs. So, for me, working with Phipps, we can not only engage the candidates we serve, but we can fulfill the needs of Forrest Solutions from entry-level to senior positions

Forrest Solutions:  How does the Summer Youth Employment Program fit into this mission?

 Rose: The Summer Youth Employment Program or SYEP is where young adults ages 16 to 24 can obtain work for 24 hours a week at $15 an hour. They can learn skills in the mailroom, accounting department, HR department, reception, and then professional development that comes along with it. Forrest Solutions never fails to be role models for many of these young adults. This rich experience brings a look at the challenges and different journeys young adults take.

Marcos: My goals are to not only help mentor these young folks, but to create real career paths for them. With the right mentality and eagerness to work towards a career, Forrest Solutions is a perfect place to learn because an intern can learn more than one trade or skill set. I love people growing into their roles and coming out of that shell.

Terri: One of my goals as the Director of Employer Engagement is to make sure that we offer various opportunities and experiences. I always share with Rose that I want to create an experience that they would not otherwise have been able to attain. Along with my team and my colleagues, we sit down and talk about the different types of experiences that we want to create, such as working with animals or creating partnerships with those who might want to work in fashion. Internships are a way to figure out what you want to do.

Forrest Solutions: Have any favorite success stories from the program?

Terri: One of my former young adults was looking for housing and all the senior managers helped him rent a room to make sure he did not have an interruption in work.   His journey is a personal and professional connection.  He has received many awards through Forrest Solutions. That is a testimony of their training. I am looking forward to expanding this partnership into customized training to train people whose personalities may be a good fit. Our goal will be to prepare them before they are hired to ensure that the revolving door slows down. You want to support people and getting back to work as much as possible.

How to Partner with Phipps Neighborhoods

Phipps Neighborhoods wants to engage with their partners and systems as a whole. If you would like to partner with Phipps Neighborhoods directly and create more success stories, you can reach out, call, or email Terri Saucier. The organization has an upcoming fundraising event for the Oktoberfest festival where they will auction off items, entertainment and provide an opportunity to network. Ultimately, Phipps would love to bring their partnerships to the forefront, as Terri would affirm, “support them just as much as they support us.”