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HomeNew York City / NYCMayor Adams and CUNY Chancellor Matos Rodriguez Announce Near $12 Million Expansion of CUNY Inclusive Economy Initiative

Mayor Adams and CUNY Chancellor Matos Rodriguez Announce Near $12 Million Expansion of CUNY Inclusive Economy Initiative

Mayor Adams and CUNY Chancellor Matos Rodriguez Announce Near $12 Million Expansion of CUNY Inclusive Economy Initiative

New York City, May 20, 2024 — Mayor Eric Adams and CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez jointly announced a significant expansion of the City University of New York’s (CUNY) Inclusive Economy Initiative. The initiative, aimed at fostering economic opportunities for students, will receive nearly $12 million in additional funding.

The announcement took place during a meeting at Company Ventures, an NYC-based venture capital firm known for its commitment to community-driven initiatives. Lauren Andersen, University Associate Provost for Careers and Industry Partnerships at CUNY, welcomed James Lovey, Vice President for Investments and Operations at Company Ventures, who has been a key partner in the program.

Connecting Students to Thriving Tech Sector Jobs

The Inclusive Economy Initiative focuses on work-based learning opportunities for CUNY students, particularly in the thriving tech sector. By partnering with Blackstone LaunchPad, CUNY ensures that students can access paid internships and gain practical experience. Notably, some CUNY alumni have transitioned to full-time positions at Company Ventures and other prominent employers across the city.

James Lovey emphasized the firm’s commitment to community impact. Since 2014, Company Ventures has facilitated connections between hundreds of startups and talented CUNY interns. Beyond placements, they provide essential support services, professional development, and mentorship to enhance students’ hands-on experiences.

Empowering Individuals and Removing Barriers

“Our collective goal,” Lovey stated, “is to empower individuals to reach their full potential.” He highlighted the importance of removing historical barriers that marginalized certain groups. The program actively fosters a culture of inclusion and explores innovative recruitment channels.

Last summer, under the leadership of Mia Manantan, Company Ventures secured internships for 50 students. Remarkably, 30 percent of these students continued working with their host companies after their internships. Additionally, 91 percent praised the learning opportunities, startup culture, and networking experiences.

This year, Company Ventures anticipates hosting 85 students, with the program set to begin on June 10th. These internships significantly impact early career development, as students gain self-confidence, explore meaningful projects, and build professional networks.

A Win-Win for Students and Early-Stage Companies

Lovey shared testimonials from students who found their voices and learned valuable skills during their internships. Simultaneously, early-stage companies benefited from fresh perspectives, product development insights, and enhanced investor relations. The program’s success underscores its value as a win-win for all participants.

Mayor Adams praised the initiative’s continuous journey, emphasizing the need for ongoing commitment, adaptability, and open-mindedness. As the program expands, it remains a cornerstone of workforce development in New York City.

The summer ahead promises another season of growth, learning, and collaboration, as CUNY students and Company Ventures continue their shared mission to shape an inclusive and vibrant economy.

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