PEWL and NYC Training Council Discuss Collaboration During First Meeting

Members of PEWL and NYC Training Council Pose for Photo at June 5 Meeting

The CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) Office of Professional Education and Workplace Learning (PEWL) recently hosted the NYC Training Council Spring Showcase on campus with an eye towards growing the collaboration between the unit, the Council and city agencies.

The NYC Training Council is comprised of city government-based professionals who oversee training and staff development across the city. PEWL recently began teaming up with the Council to support membership expansion and resource-sharing.

"This is a group of strategic, resourceful, and creative leaders charged with supporting and upskilling city employees on limited resources – a challenging but critically vital backbone of city government operations," said PEWL Executive Director Amy Perez. "CUNY SPS is honored to partner with the Council and looks forward to hosting future meetings and showcases at our midtown campus."

Program Director Clarke Griffith, who organized the June 5 event with Council leadership, said this is a perfect time for PEWL to begin playing a more active leadership role with the council.

Griffith said that the council's founder, Debbie Palmieri-Russo, recently retired from her training leadership role at Department of Buildings and had been looking for a new CUNY partner since the Council’s partnership with Baruch ended a few years ago. He added that there are plans to form a leadership committee within the council and he has offered to join that committee.

"One of our priorities is to grow Council membership," he said. "The council’s current active membership includes about 15 city agencies but there are more than 70, so the growth potential is huge. This is PEWL’s target population, so the council presents an incredible opportunity for us to market our services to potential future partners."

"We have already introduced some new approaches including conducting a needs assessment survey of council members, designing the showcase agenda around the responses to the survey, and administering an evaluation for the June 5th Showcase," he added.

The evaluation feedback received was very positive as well, Griffith said. Ninety percent of responders strongly agreed that the meeting was well organized, 95% strongly agreed that it provided a great networking experience, and 100% agreed or strongly agreed that the break-out sessions were productive and that the break-out presentations from each group offered helpful suggestions.

Sandra Thompson-Reid, who is a manager for training & curriculum development at NYC Environmental Protection and co-chaired the showcase with Griffith was very pleased with the event.

"This NYC Trainers’ Council Showcase was different from past showcases," she said. "The camaraderie, the engagement and real-time solutions that were put forth were exciting to witness." 

Kerry-Ann Lalor, who is also on the council's leadership team and is a training associate at Buildings University for the NYC Department of Buildings, agreed.

"This year's event was above and beyond what I could've imagined," Lalor said. "The day's activities were engaging, interactive, and filled with tangible solutions that can be put into practice in our training and HR functions. We are excited for this new partnership with CUNY SPS PEWL and eager to work with the PEWL team to accomplish our professional development goals for our agencies." 

Established in 2006, PEWL’s mission is to enhance organizational effectiveness and elevate individual careers through the design and implementation of transformative learning programs. Perez and her team manage 14 programs in partnership with city, state and non-profit organizations with a budget of $34 million. In FY 2023, PEWL trained and served nearly 38,000 people.

About the CUNY School of Professional Studies

As New York's leading online school since 2006, the CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) offers the most online bachelor's and master's degree options at the City University of New York, and serves as the University's first undergraduate all-transfer college. With 26 degrees and numerous other non-degree and grant-funded workplace learning programs, CUNY SPS meets the needs of adults who wish to finish a bachelor's degree, progress from an associate's degree, earn a master's degree or certificate in a specialized field, and advance in the workplace or change careers. Consistently ranked highly by U.S. News & World Report for its online offerings, CUNY SPS has emerged as a nationwide leader in online education. The School's renowned and affordable online programs ensure that busy working adults may fulfill their educational goals on their own time and schedule.

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Prerna Dar
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