Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on July 21 that 1,755 jobs for at-risk youth will be available across 17 zip codes in the Bronx.
The announcement comes as overall felony crime in the Bronx has skyrocketed this year. This includes a 40% rise in murder with 70 reported this year as compared to 50 at this time last year. Shooting incidents are up 62% with 271 reported shootings thus far in 2021 compared to 171 at this time in 2020.
Overall felony crime is up nearly 7% for the year in the Bronx. Additionally, reported hate crimes have exploded with 31 reported so far this year as compared to 12 at this time last year – a 158% increase.
Much of this increase has been attributed to teenage gang violence such as the recent shooting death of a 16-year-old.
“Gun violence is not going to disappear by itself and that is why we are joining forces with local leaders here in the Bronx and coming up with real solutions,” said Cuomo. “Through this community-driven initiative, we are providing meaningful work opportunities to our youth so they can be productive in safe settings, and asking those who best know the Bronx to help guide us in making additional resources available for vulnerable residents.”
Of the available jobs, 881 of them will be summer jobs while 874 will be long-term jobs created in Partnership with Consortium for Worker Education, a non-profit organization. The summer jobs will last until the school year begins. The long-term jobs will go to youth who are out of school.
State and community leaders have agreed on initiatives to respond to ongoing gun violence in areas that have been identified as cluster zones. The state will be providing the funding for the jobs, which will go to youth aged 15-24. Community leaders along with state officials will carve out initiatives that focus on engaging the most at-risk youth with employment and community activities.
The increase in crime has spurred comments from both candidates for mayor, Eric Adams and Curtis Sliwa. Mayor de Blasio has frequently suggested that as the city continues to recover, crime will drop.
New community-based gun violence interrupters will also be hired as part of the initiative, as well as assistants for mental health and substance use disorders.
Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 211, which declared gun violence to be a statewide emergency.
New York became the first state in the nation to do that and it was done in an effort to treat gun violence as a public health crisis. It also allows the State to expedite funding and resources to communities in these cluster zones.
This story appears courtesy of our sister publication PoliticsNY.