Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow

At a Glance

National Office: 
783 4th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11232-1611
Phone: 718-369-0303

Randolph Peers
People Served: 
4,000
Year Founded: 
1983
Tax ID: 
11-2934620

Focus area(s):

Job/Career Development

Description

Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (OBT) has been an innovator in workforce-training for 30 years. OBT empowers young adults from low-income neighborhoods to advance towards self-sufficiency and financial security through job training, academic reinforcement, improved life skills, job placement, and support services.

Impact and Outcomes

Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow has a 95% retention rate of young adults who complete its job-training program
83% of young adults attain one or more professional workplace credentials;
75% of young adults are placed in jobs or enroll in college or advanced training;

Mission & Goals

The mission of Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (OBT) is to help disadvantaged youth recognize their own self-worth, and advance towards self-sufficiency and financial security through job training, academic reinforcement, improved life skills, job placement, and support services.

 

OBT’s overarching goals are: 1) to provide youth from low-income neighborhoods with academic and vocational training; 2) to enable youth to gain employment-skills and professional certifications; 3) to place youth in jobs, always with the possibility of advancement and promotion; 4) to make it possible for youth to enroll in college; and 5) to enable youth to retain employment and college enrollment for one year or more. OBT’s model stresses personal discipline and high standards, and strives to instill in youth three qualities: confidence, discipline and professionalism. Training is administered by skilled and empathetic teachers and counselors during a 20-week session. Trainees graduate with marketable skills and a competitive edge in today’s job market.

Program

OBT’s nationally-recognized Youth Education and Job Training Program takes place in a simulated corporate environment. The program prepares youth, ages 17 to 24, for customer-service and administrative support positions by providing them with high school equivalency (HSE) classes and business-skills training. The curriculum includes Business English, Business Math, World of Work, and Computer Training. Youth attain two workplace credentials: the Microsoft Office Specialist Certification; and the National Retail Federation's Professional Certification in Customer Service. During the 20-week session, youth take part in intensive public speaking training, enabling them to express themselves articulately and confidently in the workplace. Speed Networking events bring youth face to face with accomplished corporate volunteers from Goldman Sachs, Moody’s, and Morgan Stanley for rigorous practice in job-interviewing and networking. Service Learning Projects take youth to the premises of local nonprofits for volunteer work assignments to improve their teamwork and customer-service skills. A sector-based job-training approach ensures that youth are prepared for jobs in growing areas of the economy. The College Access Program demystifies the college process through workshops, counseling and college tours, enabling youth to prepare for higher education while gaining job-skills. As a result of their multi-faceted training, youth gain confidence, a competitive edge, and job-skills that are relevant in today’s economy.

 

Other youth programs include sector-specific job training through our Certified Medical Administrative Assistant and Web Design and Coding Fundamentals programs. Our Young Adult Internship Programs combine intensive job training with paid internships at various businesses, community organizations, and public agencies. The Young Adult Literacy Program assists youth with very low reading and math scores in preparing them to begin HSE classes. All youth programs are based upon OBT’s Youth Education and Job Training program model.

 

In addition to youth services, OBT operates several adult programs to help low-income individuals improve their literacy and prepare for re-entry into the workforce. Services include High School Equivalency classes, English for Speakers of Other Languages classes, clerical job training, job placement, and citizenship assistance.

Impact

Each year, OBT serves more than 4,000 youth and adults. OBT determines if its programs are producing the intended outcomes through our performance management system, using Salesforce.com– an agency-wide database, which is used to compile and analyze program data and outcomes. The measured outcomes include program completion rates; attainment of high school equivalency (HSE) and professional credentials; job interviews completed; job placements; job retention; college enrollment and retention. This data is entered into the performance management system by OBT staff, and subsequently, reports are run by the director of OBT’s Quality Assurance Department. Data is used to evaluate program and staff performance, and to improve program operation. Data is also used to fulfill reporting requirements of funders.

 

·         OBT has a 95% retention rate of young adults who complete its job-training program

·         83% of young adults attain one or more professional workplace credentials

·         75% of young adults are placed in jobs or enroll in college or advanced training;

·         66% of young adults, who obtain employment, will retain jobs for six months or more

Growth Plan

OBT has grown steadily over the past several years in our services to youth and adults. We now serve more than 4,000 people annually through our programs. To accomplish this, we have a dedicated staff of more than 90 full and part time members, and an annual operating budget of $7.9 million.

 

Recent Youth Program Growth:New York City is in the midst of a “disconnected youth crisis,” – approximately 200,000 youth are out of school and unemployed. OBT aims to change this, and has been a leader in addressing this crisis. Over the past three years, OBT has ramped up our services to these youth – doubling the number served by our programs. Two particular examples of our recent growth include:

 

1)     In 2012, OBT and the YMCA of Greater New York partnered to establish new “Y Roads” job training centers in New York City neighborhoods with high numbers of disconnected youth, and launched sites in Jamaica, Queens (2013) and Mott Haven, the Bronx (2014). Y Roads are comprehensive centers which combine High School Equivalency prep and job training with case management, counseling, health screenings and recreational facilities through YMCA memberships for youth ages 17-24.

 

2)    In 2015, OBT piloted a new Web Design and Coding Job Training program in answer to the Information Technology and Innovation Sectors’ rapid growth, and promising future projections. This program, initially piloted at our Bushwick, Brooklyn site, is now housed in Sunset Park’s Innovation Lab (at Industry City). The Innovation Lab, equipped with more than $1m worth of state-of-the-art hardware and software, is located in the center of Sunset Park’s growing Innovation Economy, enabling OBT to be well poised to be a springboard for disconnected youth who want to gain entry into these rapidly growing fields.

 

Recent Adult Services Growth:

 

OBT’s Bushwick Workforce Resource Center (BWRC) is our hub for adult literacy and immigration services. Over the past three years, we have ramped up our immigration and citizenship work in the community, focusing on immigrants from Central and South America. In 2013, OBT received support from New York State to administer an Office of New Americans program at the BWRC. This program – now referred to as “Immigrant Services” –recently received accreditation by the Board of Immigration Appeals. The program serves approximately 600 people annually through work authorization assistance; English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes; Computers; Immigration Law consultation; naturalization assistance. Last year we assisted 199 people in applying for citizenship alone.

 

Our ESOL services have been greatly expanded through the addition of the Maura Clarke – Ita Ford Center (MCIF) to our fold. MCIF, originally an independent non-profit, formed a strategic partnership with OBT in 2014 with the goal of a full merger. The merge was completed in early 2016, and MCIF has become an integral part of our adult literacy services. This program offers four levels of ESOL and focuses on immigrant women, but a few men enroll each cycle.

 

Future Growth Plans:

OBT recently completed a new strategic plan, which will guide our organization’s activities for the next five years. Key goals for growth outlined in the plan include

·         To increase the number of youth served to 2,000 by the year 2020

·         To explore options for short-term and long-term growth, including local, regional, and national expansion

 

In order to accomplish the above, OBT will research new avenues for growth and develop a business plan to achieve our goal to serve 2,000 youth by the year 2020. This will include

A.    Maximizing our current capacity to serve more youth, through programs like the Web and Coding Program expansion, exploring options for after-hours programs for additional support to youth, bolstering our College Access Program to help more youth enroll in college, etc.

B.    Developing new partnerships and strengthening current partnerships with other youth service organizations, such as our partnership with the YMCA of Greater New York.

C.   Conducting a feasibility study and developing a business plan for replication of our signature Youth Education and Job Training Program into opportunity cities (cities with large number of immigrants, high dropout rates, diversified employment base, potential community partners).

 

More information on OBT’s growth plan can be seen by clicking the link “Business Plan.”

 

General Revenue Assumptions Moving Forward:

 

Funding for current Youth Education & Job Training Sites will remain relatively stable. In 2016, OBT was awarded new contracts for our New York City Department of Youth and Community Development funded WIOA out of school youth programs. These contracts are for a 3-year term before re-application/renewal. OBT’s Foundation revenue for these sites has remained consistent since 2006.

·         OBT will continue to secure new corporate & foundation support - we have seen particular success in securing new support during our recent period of growth. OBT will highlight our extensive experience and recent achievements as we approach foundations and corporations to increase our service to out-of-school disconnected youth in NYC and beyond.

·         OBT will continue to secure government support in the areas of Adult Literacy, Adult Job Training, and disconnected youth employment, job training and education. OBT will pursue new government funding in these areas in response to appropriate competitive funding opportunities.

·         OBT will continue to grow its base of individual giving through donor cultivation and special events utilizing traditional and “21st Century” outreach methods and campaigns including direct mail, e-blasts, social media, crowd funding, and periodic fundraising campaigns; and special events including our annual gala and social mixer, among others.

·         OBT will undertake special fundraising campaigns to support program replication to new locations utilizing all of the methods described above. 

Location of Sites

National Office: 
783 4th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11232-1611
Phone: 718-369-0303
List of locations

To make a contribution to a program site:

  1. Click on the "Make a Contribution Now" button and include the name, city and state of the program you would like to support, in the "notes" text box on the organization's donation form, if available.
  2. If a "notes" or "designation" box is not available, write the city and state on your check in the "notes" section or call the national office to designate your contribution to a local program site.

Locations in the following states:

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Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2016

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$45,000
Foundation Grants: 
$2,425,000
Government Funding: 
$4,874,000
Contributions from Individuals: 
$42,000
Special Events: 
$0
Program Services Fees: 
$0
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$38,000
Other Revenue (Description): 
Interest, facilities rental income, and refunds
Total Revenue: 
$7,424,000

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$6,200,000
Occupancy: 
$535,000
Travel & Entertainment: 
$15,000
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$250,000
Telephone & Communications: 
$75,000
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$470,000
Other Expenses (Description): 

Utilities; advertising/public relations; equipment, program supplies; participant stipends; software license fees; and insurance

Other Expenses (Description): 

Total Expenses: 
$7,545,000

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$-121,000

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2013

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$68,768
Foundation Grants: 
$2,059,945
Government Funding: 
$3,238,203
Contributions from Individuals: 
$46,868
Program Services Fees: 
$12,880
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$1,565
Other Revenue: 
$19,263
Other Revenue (Description): 
Interest, facilities rental income, and refunds
Special Events: 
$59,051
Total Revenue: 
$5,506,543

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$3,825,833
Occupancy: 
$401,307
Travel & Entertainment: 
$17,315
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$126,874
Telephone & Communication: 
$70,098
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$482,625
Other Expenses (Description): 

Utilities, advertising/public relations, equipment, insurance, participant stipends/supplies, and software license fees

Total Expenses: 
$4,924,052

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$582,491

Major Funders

The Achelis Foundation

The Barker Welfare Foundation

The Bernard F. and Alva B. Gimbel Foundation

The Booth Ferris Foundation

The Clark Foundation

Con Edison

Consortium for Workers Education

Deutsche Bank

The Frances L. and Edwin L. Cummings Memorial Fund

The Morgan Stanley Foundation

The MUFG Union Bank Foundation

New York City Department of Youth and Community Development

New York City Department of Probation

New York State Department of State – Office of New Americans

New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance

The PIMCO Foundation

The Pinkerton Foundation

The Robin Hood Foundation

RTS Family Foundation

Santander Bank, N.A.

The Tiger Foundation