The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals joined representatives from more than a dozen animal welfare organizations for New York City’s first annual virtual Animal Careers Week held September 21-24, 2020. The event is a part of the City’s effort to build more intentional pipelines for students seeking careers in animal welfare, and create a workforce that reflects the racially and culturally diverse communities served in NYC.
The career fair, presented in partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Animal Welfare, the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, and City University of New York (CUNY), reflects a broader Fair Recovery initiative announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio in April to re-start the economy and rebuild a fairer, more equitable community for all New Yorkers.
“The event was advertised broadly to all CUNY schools through their career offices, as well as specifically to their animal programs,” said Christine Kim, Senior Community Liaison for the Mayor’s Office of Animal Welfare of the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, who spearheaded organizing the career fair. “CUNY students are diverse, representative of all the different walks of life in NYC, and are embedded in their local communities throughout the five boroughs.”
Through four days of online panel presentations, students gained exposure to a wide range of career options within animal welfare. They asked questions about specific roles, networked with the participating animal organizations, and learned about professional development opportunities, including internships, jobs, and volunteer positions offered by those organizations. The Q&A format gave students abundant opportunities to explore their individual areas of interest.
Representatives from each participating group spoke about their organizations, their roles, and day-to-day activities, and answered questions from students about how to prepare for a career in animal welfare. Panelists also described their own personal journeys that lead them to their own particular career destinations.
Steve Gruber, Director of Communications for the Alliance and a member of the Animal Planning Task Force for NYC’s Emergency Management, represented the Alliance at the event.
Breakout group panels featured presentations on specific areas of focus, including:
- Direct Care and Veterinary Medicine, including behavior, shelter care, conservation, LVTs, vets, wildlife rehab;
- Advocacy and Education, including policy, legislation, grassroots organizing, outreach, humane education; and
- Entrepreneurship & Management, including communications, human resources, operations, start-ups, and philanthropy.
This premier event’s participating organizations included Animal Care Centers of NYC, Animal Medical Center, A2Px, ASPCA, BARK, Behavior Vets of NYC, Best Friends Animal Society, Bideawee, Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, Multicultural Veterinary Medical Association, NYC Bar Association Animal Law Committee, NYC Hip Hop is Green, NYC Parks, PAWS NY, School for the Dogs, The Humane League, Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, and World Animal Protection.
In keeping with the Alliance’s new focus for 2020, we will continue to work with the City of New York to address animal welfare-related issues in our community.