May 07, 2015

FOOD + WORKFORCE: Evergreen & The Pratt Center Release Report on Job Opportunities in the Food Sector

Evergreen and the Pratt Center for Community Development have released a report that investigates the current workforce trends and future opportunities within New York City’s growing specialty food manufacturing sector. The study found that, while small, the sector has experienced significant growth over the past five years, and business owners project to double employment within the next three years. In order to leverage the opportunities presented in the sector’s unprecedented expansion, the study calls for new approaches to ensure that companies have the room to growin New York City, and that new employment opportunities in the food manufacturing economy benefit disadvantaged workers.

Between 2009 and 2013, 1,294 food and beverage manufacturers opened for business in the five boroughs. These companies are fast approaching the 3-5 year mark, an age which the report found was associated with the highest rate of company closures between 1996 and 2003. The boom in the number of new businesses represents a noteworthy opportunity in terms of employment. Of the 45 businesses surveyed for this report, 89% expect to hire additional employees within the next three years, a move that would create over 300 new jobs. However, significant structural interventions will need to take place to make sure these businesses are able to grow in New York City, and to ensure that these jobs go to the New Yorkers that need them the most.

The study recommends two key strategies for public and private stakeholders. First, we need to promote a diverse workforce by forging relationships with workforce providers and food and beverage manufacturers. Second, there needs to be policies and programs in place to help these companies grow here in New York City, so that they can scale up and provide quality employment in the diverse neighborhoods where New Yorkers live.

You can download the full report titled Food + Workforce_Connecting Growth and Good Jobs for NYC’s Emerging Specialty Food Manufacturing Sector.


This report was funded through a grant by the New York Community Trust.