The New York City Council launched this Friday the iniciativa ‘Pride at Work’ which will be a powerful lever for more people from the gay, lesbian and trans community (LGBTQIA+) to access quality union jobs.

This is the first association of this type that is financed with public funds in all the country.

Under the leadership of the Councilmember Crystal Hudson member of the LGBTQIA+ Caucus of the Municipal Chamber, it was agreed to include $501,000 in the City budget for fiscal year 2023 to lay the foundations for this project.

“This is a path to quality, well-paying jobs that strengthen communities and protect our collective from poor working conditions, especially for trans people and people of color. LGBTQIA+ workers have faced fierce discrimination in the workplace. And not to mention when they are looking for a job option, ”said Hudson.

In this sense, Pride at Work will provide funds to non-profit organizations and City agencies to recruit from this group and prepare them for union jobs, such as construction, services and educational certifications.

According to reports from the Center for American Progress, “for decades, compared to the general population, LGBTQI+ people have faced at higher risk of experiencing economic insecurities such as higher rates of poverty, unemployment, and use of public benefits.”

Even before the pandemic, various statistical evidence reveals that LGBTQ households made up of people of color were more likely than other families to experience food insecurity, job loss, significant financial challenges, and barriers to accessing health.

Strength and talent

The testimony of a young Dominican transgender woman who identified herself as Graciela Román, gives further indications of this reality.

“If you are Latin and also black (brown) like me. And to that you add that you identify and express yourself as a transgender woman, the chances of having a quality job are very low Anywhere in the world. It seems to me that New York is being an example to the world of justice and inclusion,” said the immigrant.

Graciela shares that “sadly” people with their gender identity and expression are “pigeonholed” in very specific jobs, when they have strength and talent to face any task.

“It is also more dramatic to think that most of us are condemned to work only in beauty salons, and in the worst case being forced into prostitution. It is very sad. It takes a long time for us to be respected. But this is a step, ”she finished.

Unemployment at a high rate

Indeed, based on new data from the National Household Pulse Survey (HPS)which examines the economic security and labor market experiences of LGBTQIA+ communities, transgender respondents experienced employment rates lower than other groups within that community, which describes an immense challenge for them to achieve apply and get quality work.

So far this year, the ‘trans’ community reports in some surveys having had to be forced to apply much more proportionally to unemployment insurancewhen compared to other groups.

This step of financing labor inclusion projects is an effort of the Municipal Council that was also supported by the AFL-CIO LGBTQ+ affinity group, the Iron Workers Union and the National Education Association. It is also endorsed by labor unions, the SEIU 1199 Employment and Training Fund, the New York City District Council of Carpenters, and the Legal Aid Lawyers Association.

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