Make the Road New York
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One in nine New Yorkers—over two million people—don't speak English well or at all. Over a million adults also lack a high school diploma. Yet most immigrant New Yorkers don't have access to educational opportunities to gain these skills.

Make the Road New York helps meet this need by providing English, computer, and High School Equivalency classes to almost 1,700 adults annually. Our graduates are better able to help their kids with homework, communicate with their doctors and accomplish their educational and employment goals.

At MRNY, we do more than teach skills: we ground those skills in our students' daily lives. Class themes include attending a parent-teacher conference, requesting repairs from a landlord, and dealing with a difficult boss. Our teachers work closely with staff from MRNY's other departments, referring students to workforce training, legal assistance, and other services when needed.

Our teachers set high expectations and use proven methods to help students advance and meet their goals. Over 80% of students who complete their English language course move up at least one educational level.

Our High School Equivalency and computer literacy classes increase students' ability to secure and retain jobs, as well as qualify for immigration relief programs such as Deferred Action. With our in-house legal services, our citizenship instructors help families access work authorization and citizenship. We help nearly 200 people become citizens every year.

Our workforce and adult education staff work together to prepare students for stable and productive jobs. We launched an intensive training program for over 40 students a year that integrates English literacy and health advocacy skills to prepare graduates for jobs as work as community health workers. Other students learn how to start their own cooperative businesses, receiving training and technical assistance from MRNY. Still others get help obtaining jobs in construction, warehousing and other industries. Participants also learn about workplace rights and occupational safety.

MRNY is proud to be a pilot site of the Plazas Comunitarias program, in collaboration with the Mexican government and New York University's Metropolitan Center for Urban Education, which provides resources for literacy students and those seeking primary and secondary school instruction in Spanish. In addition, MRNY has also been selected by IBM to pilot online resources for adults seeking to improve their English reading and pronunciation. MRNY is a member of the New York Coalition for Adult Literacy, the New York City Education and Training Coalition, and the New York College Transitions Network.


Job growth isn't keeping pace with population growth, and today, workers of color are hit hardest: 1-in-5 black and Latino New Yorkers can't find full time work.

Make the Road New York promotes policies to create good jobs over the long term while helping individual workers do better in the short term. Our bilingual programs include job training, legal support for workers whose rights have been violated, small business counseling and grassroots organizing to push for responsible use of public economic development money.

MRNY connects job seekers to our extensive adult literacy programming to increase participants' earning potential and ability to secure citizenship and work authorization. We assist active job seekers with resume preparation, interview skills and job placement. We stay in touch to help workers retain the jobs they secure.

We offer training in specific sectors such as community health work. Through partnerships with hospitals, non-profits and labor unions, we connect workers to jobs in existing and emerging industries. In 2013, we connected 275 workers to jobs with an average hourly wage of $13.21.

We do trainings on workers rights and occupational health and safety, one-on-one advocacy and collective organizing to support workers in low-wage industries like the car wash industry. We design and elevate transformative policies, such as the Wage Theft Prevention Act, that respond directly to workers' needs.

We incubate democratically controlled worker cooperatives and support local business people with training in credit and in adopting pro-worker policies. Since our program began in 2009, we have worked with 123 local business people to create good jobs in our community.

We have conducted work-safe trainings for over 500 Hurricane Sandy cleanup workers (most of whom were working in extremely dangerous conditions), canvassed Sandy-affected immigrant neighborhoods, and met with government officials to push for creation of good rebuilding jobs. With the Laborers Union, we launched Back Home, Back to Work to place workers in union-wage mold remediation jobs.

How We Work | Community Organizing | Leadership Development | Adult Education
Youth Development | Legal/Support Services | Policy Advocacy


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