Attracting and Retaining Employees in the Bronx, New York: A Comprehensive Strategy

The municipal government of the Bronx, New York must take a strategic approach to employee retention in order to ensure a successful recovery for generations to come. This will not only save the city money by avoiding hiring costs, but also prevent service interruptions and retain institutional knowledge. According to a survey released by the state Department of Labor, flexibility in work is a top priority for New York workers, while attracting new employees and retaining current ones remain top challenges for companies. The revival of small business districts as well as larger destinations such as Midtown and Lower Manhattan is essential for the recovery of the local economy.

Financial incentives may be limited by existing regulations and union agreements, however, the city's first major labor agreement under the Adams administration is a step in the right direction. A comprehensive retention strategy will help stop disruption of critical operations and services that New Yorkers rely on, as well as save money that could otherwise be spent on identifying, hiring and training new employees. An Accenture survey found that nearly half of people who are or have been employed in the public sector say it's an attractive place to work, compared to just 20% of people who have no government experience. The Department of City Planning (DCP) promotes housing production and affordability, economic development, investments in infrastructure and services, and resilient and sustainable communities in all five boroughs to achieve a more equitable New York City.

Public sector investments in life science infrastructure, early-stage entrepreneurs and workforce development have attracted private sector investors and life science companies to increase their investments and presence in the region. The Partnership Fund for New York City has made recommendations based on comprehensive analyses from a variety of sources, including municipal data, employment reports, private sector best practices, case studies from other governments, testimonies from recently deceased city workers, interviews with former City Council leaders, and conversations with experts representing various fields and interests in New York City. Mayor Eric Adams has warned that there could be more cuts in services as the city struggles to respond to the arrival of migrants being transported to New York from the southern border. The creation of new bus lanes affects more than one million New Yorkers who rely on the bus every day for travel and face average bus speeds of eight miles per hour - the slowest in the country.

Kathy Hochul has continued her calls to Congress to address immigration and address the influx of migrants that New York is currently facing. The New York metropolitan region is a life sciences powerhouse with more than a dozen connected innovation centers that stretch from New Haven to Princeton, from Long Island to the Lower Hudson Valley, with New York City at its center. The recent “New New York” municipal report recognizes that “hybrid work is here to stay” and the City Council may be reconsidering its previous policies. The MTA no longer had enough trains without broken windows to continue service along the W line due to extensive damage. In order for New York City to have a strong and prosperous recovery for generations to come, it is essential that these issues are resolved quickly.

Business leaders and economic experts agree that this will depend both on the recovery of small business districts as well as larger destinations such as Midtown and Lower Manhattan. To achieve this goal, it is necessary for the municipal government of Bronx, New York to implement a comprehensive retention strategy that will reduce attrition and keep high-performing employees in their jobs. This strategy should include providing flexible work options that meet employees' needs while also ensuring that they are able to perform their duties effectively. Additionally, financial incentives should be considered where possible within existing regulations and union agreements. Finally, investments should be made in life science infrastructure, early-stage entrepreneurs and workforce development in order to attract private sector investors and life science companies. By taking these steps, the municipal government of Bronx can ensure that it is able to attract new employees while also retaining current ones.

This will not only save money by avoiding hiring costs but also prevent service interruptions and retain institutional knowledge.