Day Laborer Workforce Initiative

The Day Laborer Workforce Initiative (DLWI) is a New York City budget initiative to support the development of existing day laborer centers in New York City and the expansion of such centers into all five boroughs.

NICE, along with coalition partners Workers Justice Project, Staten Island Community Job Center, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, succeeded in securing funding for the DLWI for the 2016 Fiscal Year. Receiving funding from the New York City Council was a huge victory for NICE, as it was our first-ever budget initiative! NICE will use its allocation to relaunch the NICE Worker Center, which will increase the services we provide to community members and expand our member base.

Between 8,000 and 10,000 day laborers, most of whom are recently arrived immigrants, live and work in New York City. As members of the city’s underground workforce, day laborers experience rampant wage theft, pervasive construction accidents, unchecked workplace hazards. On day laborer corners (paradas or esquinas), day laborers also lack access to workforce development training and access to shelter, water, bathrooms, and other basic infrastructure.

Day laborer centers provide a dignified, physical space for day laborers to congregate and seek work. Day laborer centers also reduce the risks of wage theft, workplace hazards, and workplace accidents by providing day laborers with job dispatching services, wage theft legal clinics, referral to critical services, and workforce development trainings.

The revitalization and expansion of the NICE Worker Center will be a major component of our work in the coming years. We hope to renew and increase our funding from City Council for the 2017 Fiscal Year, so that we may continue to organize and empower immigrant day laborers.

If you’d like to learn more about this work, please contact [email protected].