As part of Columbia's commitment to strengthening ties with the diverse residents and institutions in Upper Manhattan , the University is enhancing its employment practices to improve its ability to hire qualified applicants from the local communities. In the initial phase of this effort, Columbia has embarked on a relationship with Managed Work Services, which will identify community applicants for positions and, where needed, help prepare them for specific jobs. MWS currently works closely with Columbia managers and therefore understands the work environment. Their assessment and coaching skills enable them to identify candidates and provide targeted support so that each individual can succeed.
MWS has solid connections with community resources as well. It also stays involved after each placement, working with supervisors and employees, providing support and coaching. This fall, MWS has been working with the CU departments Facilities, Student Services and Institutional Real Estate and has already placed 15 local residents in positions.
Columbia Human Resources plans to open an Employment Programs Information Center at 3180 Broadway at 125th Street in December, and MWS will have a full-time daily presence there. Simultaneously, the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science and HR are working together on an innovative program that improves employability. Service Learning in a Community Environment, or SLICE, will introduce local residents to basic technical and workplace skills, such as collaboration, communication, problem solving and project management. Residents learn how to apply basic computer technologies, such as Web design, word processing, spreadsheets and presentation software to actual, client-oriented community projects. Participants use the state-of-the-art Botwinick Gateway Laboratory facility and are part of an engineering design class.