Staffing Update—Q & A with David Garza

By Nicole Fogarty

For this issue of Staffing Update, we talked with Henry Street Settlement’s President and CEO David Garza, whose experience and current role within the agency make him uniquely qualified to comment on the benefits—for both jobseekers and employers—of using employment services like Henry Street’s.

When Garza came to the Settlement as a job developer in 2001, the workforce landscape in New York City looked different than it does today, but the task at hand remains the same: opening doors of opportunity by connecting employers with qualified jobseekers. Read on for Garza’s insights, and connect with Henry Street to get started on your staffing journey.

What role does Henry Street’s workforce programming play in the bigger picture of the agency?
Workforce services are critically important to Henry Street. They speak to some of the fundamental building blocks of our organization: economic self-sufficiency, health, and wellbeing. Work is one of the most meaningful and esteemed connections you can help someone make. People aren’t defined only by what they do, but it’s an important component of human dignity and self-sufficiency. Our commitment to workforce programs is directly aligned with our mission of opening doors of opportunity, and it intersects with each one of our program areas.

As the largest user of Henry Street’s workforce services, what is the value add-on for the agency itself?
There’s no other way to say it—it’s the people. We have 700 employees across 18 sites, and the scope and seasonality of our work means we’re often looking to hire. It’s an honor and a pleasure to source from our own programs, but moreover it’s a credible testament that the services we’re generating are high quality. I see the value directly reflected in the dozens of hardworking and talented Henry Street team members who came through our Workforce Development Center. They’re in the executive office, on the ground in our programs, part of our admin and finance teams—they’re everywhere; they’re working hard; and they’re elevating the agency day in and day out.

What do you think employers who aren’t using Henry Street’s workforce resources are missing out on?
Every employer in the city is faced with the same daunting task of finding talent in a place as vast and frenetic as New York. Workforce programs, particularly quality ones, provide a huge service and invaluable support to employers because they function as partners and stakeholders in a system that can serve as a pipeline to qualified job candidates. For instance, if an employer is looking to fill an open position, they can put an ad online and sort through thousands of applicants, but if they work with a partner agency like Henry Street, we’re able to completely customize the hiring process by managing the number of quality, pre-screened candidates and tailoring the experience to the employer. That’s an invaluable service.

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