New York state’s labor commissioner, M. Patricia Smith, has a message for laid-off finance workers in New York: Look elsewhere. Go find work in another industry, because the jobs on Wall Street will never return to their former levels.
“Our economists don’t see the financial-services sector ever coming back as strong as it was,” Smith told the New York Times Friday for a story on unemployment in New York. (Unemployment Hits 10.3% in New York City.)
To ease the pain, New York is using part of an $11 million “national emergency grant” to help retrain former Wall Street and finance executives and workers for other industries.
Under the retraining program that began in July, more than 450 people have begun classes to prepare for a career shift, and state officials say they have enough money to help at least 1,000 more.
The emergency federal grant went to New York. New Jersey and Connecticut, which received a combined $22 million to retrain people who have lost jobs since June 2008 at any of 31 companies — mostly large financial firms like Citigroup and Lehman Brothers.
The Times spoke to two former Wall Street finance workers who participated in the program:
- Marisha Clinton, 39, a former technology stock analyst at Bear Stearns, who used $12,500 to take courses at the New York Institute of Finance that might help her find other work.
- Lana Umali, a former JPMorgan Chase employee who used the grant to take classes to train for a job at a company that operates assisted-living facilities.
For more information on finance careers and switching industries: