COOP Careers Makes Civic Hall its New York City Headquarters

Approximately Five Hundred COOP Fellows to Start in the Fall

NEW YORK, NY (June 25, 2024) – At an event at their state-of-the-art digital skills and innovation hub at Union Square, Civic Hall announced that COOP Careers, a national nonprofit that helps recent first-gen college graduates overcome underemployment through digital skills and peer connections, is relocating its New York City operation to Civic Hall at Union Square.

COOP matches peer cohorts of motivated grads with alumni coaches who support them in building the professional skills and networks they need to get their first good job after graduation. COOP plans to welcome an estimated 500 new fellows into its program this fall. COOP serves approximately 2,000 first-generation, low-income college graduates each year—with plans for those numbers to increase.

“We are excited to join the thriving community at Civic Hall this fall when we bring the COOP Careers Fellowship to Union Square,” said Kalani Leifer, Founder and CEO of COOP. “Thanks to this partnership, our fellows will be surrounded by entrepreneurs and innovators who will support their growth in the tech industry. At COOP, we believe community is the key to economic mobility, and we know that coming together in this central location with like-minded people will elevate the experience for our fellows, alumni, and staff — fostering new ideas, opportunities, and professional growth.”

COOP has produced compelling wage outcomes for thousands of their fellows in New York, California, Illinois, and Florida. Within 12 months of program completion, three out of four COOP alumni are fully employed, earning an average of $50,000 per year (median pre-program earnings are $12,000 per year inclusive of under and unemployed fellows). 

“COOP’s strong wage data for their participants demonstrates the power of their program. Therefore, we’re thrilled to welcome COOP into the Civic Hall community because they will help us close persistent wage gaps, especially for underserved communities,” said Jim Malatras, Chief Strategy Officer & Senior VP for Education, The Fedcap Group—the parent organization of Civic Hall.

This strategic move comes as COOP enters its 10th anniversary year. The organization is celebrating this milestone in both big and small ways throughout the next six months. One of the highlights will be this relocation to Civic Hall. 

About Civic Hall

Civic Hall is a collaborative innovation center that brings together civic-minded technologists, social entrepreneurs, government officials, and community leaders to develop technology solutions for the public good. Located in Union Square, Civic Hall fosters a vibrant ecosystem of knowledge sharing and cooperative action.

Civic Hall’s mission is to support and enable best-in-class programs that help close the digital skills divide and plan for the needs of tomorrow’s workforce. Civic Hall facilitates groundbreaking partnerships among high-impact organizations, civic and social innovators, workforce training partners, and New York’s employer ecosystem to work collectively to meet the educational and professional needs of all New Yorkers, especially those from communities too often left behind. Civic Hall also serves as a tech incubator and accelerator, helping to spur new innovations and ideas. For more information about membership opportunities, please visit  

About COOP Careers

COOP Careers (pronounced “ko-op”) closes the social capital gap by recruiting and investing deeply in low-income and first-generation college grads from CUNY, Cal State, and other urban public colleges in the Bay Area, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City. It connects recent graduates with employers looking for motivated, prepared, diverse candidates. 

A foundational component of the COOP Careers Fellowship is the community—connecting first-gen college grads to their peers across generations of program alumni. The nonprofit has served more than 6,000 alumni nationwide and strives to serve 10,000 by 2025. Its flagship program trains graduates in data analytics, digital marketing, and financial services. 

COOP has been recognized by Google, Salesforce, LinkedIn, the Gates Foundation, and the Christensen Institute as a best-in-class program in its field. More recently, it was awarded a $12M gift from MacKenzie Scott. Founder Kalani Leifer was selected as one of 20 Obama Foundation Fellows, among 20,000 candidates. Learn more at