Welcome to The Pinkerton Papers

Job training and job readiness programs have long been at the heart of Pinkerton’s commitment to the young people of New York. After all, there’s no surer way to overcome a mountain of disadvantages than by getting—and keeping—a good job. Making that happen, of course, isn’t easy. Progress has been haphazard at best, and there remains a great deal of confusion about what works and what doesn’t.

In the hope of cutting through the fog, Pinkerton asked Steven Dawson, the founder and former head of the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute and one of the clearest thinkers in the workforce field, to join us for a year as a Visiting Fellow. Steven meets with our grantees and is writing a series of Pinkerton Papers on job recruitment, quality and retention issues that impact youth and adult jobseekers alike.

The response to Steven’s first papers has been so enthusiastic that we’ve decided to expand the Pinkerton Papers collection to include other thought-provoking pieces authored or coauthored by other Pinkerton staff members. The first is a report on the New York City STEM Education Network by Program Officer Jennifer Negron and Saskia Traill, the Senior VP of Policy at ExpandEd. We think you’ll enjoy their “lessons for grantmakers” in the story of the STEM Network.

The second is a piece on “Credible Messenger Mentoring” by Senior Program Officer Julie Peterson and Ruben Austria, Executive Director of Community Connections for Youth, an alternative to incarceration program in the Bronx. They argue convincingly that employing mentors who have themselves experienced the justice system is good not only for the young people they work with but for the mentors and their communities as well.

The Pinkerton Papers are not meant to be tablets from on high. We don’t expect that readers will agree with every recommendation.  (In fact, some provoke lively discussions in our own offices.) But we sincerely hope they spark further thought, reactions, questions, disagreements, and competing strategies.

To that end, we’ll publish any and all thoughtful and good-spirited comments on our web site: www.thepinkertonfoundation.org

Rick Smith