Standing Room Only at the Black Male Initiative Civil Service Jobs Info Session

By Earl Jones, BMI member

November 27, 2017

‌On Oct 11, SUNY Empire State College’s Black Male Initiative (BMI), held a Civil Service Job Information Session at the ESC location in Brooklyn, NY.  If you missed this event, then you truly missed out on a wonderful opportunity.

The event was packed with over 75 attendees.   BMI president Larry Johnson and the Executive Board first Vice President and Treasurer, Jawana Richardson; second Vice President, Carl Hall; Social Media Director, Nicholas Barnes, and BMI faculty advisor Dr. David Fullard, welcomed the attendees and guests.

Clayton Steen, SUNY Empire State College’s Vice President of Enrollment Management, attended from Saratoga and opened the event by sharing his life’s journey through college and leading up to his career in higher education.

Anita DeCianni Brown, Collegewide Career Development Coordinator also attended from Saratoga to support the BMI event and to talk about the career assistance that’s available to all ESC students and alumni. 

BMI Executive Board member, Jawana Richardson, read a letter on behalf of SUNY Empire State College’s President Merodie Hancock, in which Hancock applauded BMI for putting this important event together.  Hancock pointed out that “this info session is an opportunity to explore the personally and professionally gratifying world of public service.” Hancock’s letter went on to say that “being a civil servant comes with the purpose of serving the public without regard to race, religion, social economic, or any other false limiter, and as a long–standing civil servant, this distinction is one I cherish”

Presenters from the Department of City Administrative Services, Kadian Outar, Director, and Nicole Downey, Deputy Director, provided an in-depth look into getting hired in a NYC civil service position.  They presented a detailed overview about the 80 or more agencies that accept applications for employment, generous benefit packages offered to employees, the application and exam procedure, the candidate selection process, and provided the audience with literature, a list of current jobs openings and the corresponding civil service exams. 

Members of the audience were very engaged during the presentation and many questions were asked by students, alumni and members of the community.  Several popular questions were asked and answered:

Q: In order to work in a civil service position with NYC, do you have to be a U.S. Citizen or a resident of NYC?

A: No, you do not. While some jobs do require residency, there are some positions that do not.  However, you must be able to provide official documentation that you’re legally allowed to work in the U.S.   

Q: If I was convicted of a crime, am I still eligible for employment with the state of New York?   

A: Employment is available to individuals with a criminal history, however it is important to be honest and upfront about your criminal background; as long as the position of interest isn’t directly related to your criminal history, you may be eligible for employment within the City of New York.

Q: Do you have to take an exam to be hired for all civil service positions? 

A:  It is highly advisable to take civil service exams, however, there are positions for which no test is available.  These positions are considered to be provisional. In order to hold this position in a permanent civil service status, you must take a civil service exam and pass it or you can be replaced by a candidate who has successfully passed a civil service exam for that position.

Those who attended were asked to submit their names to the civil service exam notification website, which instantly connected them to a list of current job openings and upcoming exam notifications.

For more information on job postings and upcoming civil service exams, please visit the official website of the City of New York.

For more information about the Black Male Initiative contact BMI.metro@esc.edu.

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