Story and Photos by MIKE LEE
Nearly 1,000 jobseekers attended a City Government Hiring Hall for available public service positions on Aug. 28 at Sunset Park High School in Brooklyn. The hiring hall date was selected as a tour stop for a 40-foot-long, bright green bus as part of AFSCME’s Staff the Front Lines campaign.
Lines began to form long before the 1 p.m. start time, and a steady stream of applicants eager for the opportunity to land an interview and potential work continued throughout the afternoon.
Applicant Arielle Maurice was offered a position onsite as a Criminalist and spoke about why she wanted to work in public service.
“I grew up in Queens,” Maurice said. “I like New York City and the people working here, but I want to contribute and give back to the community.”
At a press conference during the late afternoon, union and city leaders, including DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and AFSCME President Lee Saunders, joined New York City Mayor Eric Adams and City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams to speak about the benefits of entering public service.
“We said from the beginning that we were going to concentrate on what Dr. King called the ‘dignity of work,’” Garrido said. “This is about getting stuff done and getting the government to continue to work for its people.”
The union and the City’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) first partnered in February to host hiring halls across the five boroughs.
“Don’t just live in New York, be a part of New York,” Mayor Adams said. “After 16 hiring halls, hundreds of people have been able to start their employment in good-paying, civil service jobs.”
Speaker Adams said she was pleased with the turnout at the hiring hall and the efficient processing of hundreds of applicants through registration, interviews, and job offers.
“There are vacancies in City agencies that need to be filled and who better to fill them than the smart, talented, hardworking people who call our city home?” Speaker Adams said. “The jobs we are hiring for today are critical to the success of our city and can help unlock economic mobility for many New Yorkers.”
Saunders explained the importance of the union’s partnership with the Adams administration in the effort to recruit jobseekers into the City’s workforce.