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Press Release

De Blasio Administration and Council Member Rivera Celebrate City Council Approval of Tech Training Center

Aug 09 2018

Tech Training Center Will Diversify NYC’s Tech Sector and Connect More New Yorkers With Modern Skills Training and Good-Paying Jobs

Tech Training Center Will Create Over 600 Jobs as Part of Mayor's New York Works Plan

NEW YORK, NY—The de Blasio Administration and Council Member River today celebrated City Council's approval of the Tech Training Center in Union Square, the final necessary vote of the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). The Tech Training Center will fuel the growth and continued diversification of New York City’s unique tech sector, providing accessible tech training and space for companies to grow and hire within the building.

“The NYC tech sector is home to over 325,000 jobs, and is growing at an unprecedented pace. Whether it’s fin-tech, fashion-tech, health-tech, or fill-in-the-blank tech, it’s happening in New York City, and at a scale that cannot be matched elsewhere. Our goal is to connect homegrown talent to these opportunities, and the Tech Training Center will play a critical role in that endeavor. Free courses for our students, internships and paid jobs at startups, and ample space for budding companies to grow, all of this will happen under one roof at the Center. I want to thank Council Speaker Johnson, Council Member Rivera, and the entire council for their partnership," said Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development.

“This technology center levels the playing field for those who have historically found it difficult to access employment and opportunity in this booming industry. With trusted community-based organizations and visionary nonprofits, we are building a bridge for women and people of color who are underrepresented in this field. This project can help close the tech education and hiring divide that keeps low-income people from the jobs being created right here in our city,” said Councilwoman Carlina Rivera. “We owe it to our neighbors and our youth who face challenges in a 21st century economy to support them with facilities and training that can help them realize their dreams. Seniors, students and everyone in between will have a state-of-the-art building where they can learn, train, and thrive.”

“Today’s vote is a win for New Yorkers and a win for our city’s economy,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “The Tech Training Center will fuel the accessibility and growth of our city’s tech sector, connecting New Yorkers to good-paying jobs and local companies with space and talent to grow. Over the past year, we have proudly worked with community and industry advocates to develop a project that will change this industry’s trajectory for the better, ensuring that tech in New York City is uniquely shaped and strengthened by our diversity. We thank Council Speaker Johnson and Council Member Rivera for their leadership in helping us deliver this great project to New York City.”

Developed by RAL, the 240,000 square foot project will feature a tech-focused workforce development center, civic technology co-working space at Civic Hall, flexible space for growing startups, and market-rate office space for established tech companies. The Tech Training Center is expected to create over 600 quality jobs in Union Square and is a key component of Mayor de Blasio’s New York Works plan.

Since it was announced in February 2017, NYCEDC and the project’s development team have worked with Council Member Rivera and met with over 40 community organizations to find ways to make the project even more impactful for New Yorkers. This engagement has resulted in the following additions to the project:

  • Dedicating a minimum of $200,000 a year for scholarships for low-income students and expanded non-profit training.
  • Making event space at Civic Hall available to local non‐profits and community organizations for free, 52 times annually.
  • Developing a Community Advisory Board to ensure the surrounding community is well served and connected to the Tech Training Center.
  • Dedicating 25% of booths within the center’s market space for local vendors.

The project’s workforce development center, operated by Civic Hall, will span across three floors to serve tens of thousands of New Yorkers a year. The center will feature digital training courses with providers such as Per Scholas, FEDCAP, CUNY, and Mouse. Together, these training opportunities will develop a talent pipeline between New Yorkers and the city’s burgeoning tech ecosystem.

In addition to the training facility itself, the Tech Training Center will also feature step up, affordable office space for growing companies that have graduated from Civic Hall, incubators, or co-working spaces. The center will also offer modern, market-rate space to attract established, industry-leading corporations to the ecosystem.

“More than just creating good jobs, this tech hub represents a real investment in cross-sector collaboration, workforce development, and the kind of infrastructure that will help all New Yorkers benefit from the growing knowledge and tech economies," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "I'm also thrilled that this project will provide a new home for Civic Hall and New York's civic tech community, which works at the crossroads of cutting-edge innovation and good old-fashioned municipal problem-solving."

Community Board 3 is very excited about the coming Tech Training Center," said Alysha Lewis-Coleman, Manhattan Community Board 3 Chair. "Our youth need and deserve training for good-paying twenty-first century tech jobs. We are appreciative that the City responded to the CB 3 priority to have a business incubator for our emerging entrepreneurs. We are excited for this important project to become a reality for our community.”

“We are grateful for the City Council’s decision in support of the Tech Training Center. This vote, in combination with the endorsement of Community Board 3 and many other community stakeholders and local officials, paves the way for us to realize this important development. RAL Development Services is committed to developing an innovative and inclusive project that will stimulate local business growth and community interaction, as well as promote the next generation of companies that will give back to our neighbors and our city at large,” said Joshua Wein, Financial Director of RAL Development Services. “We are proud to know we will play a part in creating construction and permanent jobs for our community and the greater city. We will continue to work with community representatives and local officials to make sure that the Tech Training Center responds to their needs and delivers on its remarkable promise.”

“We live in a time where technology is rapidly changing our economy and our city” said Andrew Rasiej, Founder and CEO of Civic Hall. “We are proud to be working closely with Microsoft so that the Tech Training Center in Union Square can help ensure that every New Yorker, regardless of background, has access to free or low cost digital skills training and jobs in New York’s 21st century economy.”

“32BJ is proud to support the Tech Training Center. This project will create good jobs that will help keep the Union Square community economically inclusive, and allow workers to live with dignity in New York City. By offering digital skills training to the public, the Tech Training Center will also allow working people across New York City to access greater opportunity,” said 32BJ Secretary Treasurer Kyle Bragg.

“The Tech Training Center offers a chance to move the needle on diversity in tech, breaking down barriers that have impeded entry into the industry for decades. Today’s vote brings this project one step closer to being a reality, ensuring that modern training, space for growing companies, and good-paying job opportunities are available for all New Yorkers. We thank the City Council for being such a steadfast advocate for New York City constituents, and helping to deliver a project that will truly change lives,” said Alan van Capelle, President & CEO of Educational Alliance.

“The Tech Training Center brings us one step closer to ensuring all New Yorkers have access to the skills and education required to gain a job that builds towards a self-sustaining career. Our city requires more innovative solutions that will build upon the great work of the workforce community, and we commend the City for taking these important first steps.” said Joey Ortiz, Executive Director of the NYC Employment and Training Coalition (NYCETC). “NYCETC — and our 150 workforce and economic development organizations — look forward to continued collaboration with our Civic Hall colleagues to ensure the development of the Tech Training Center is informed by the incredible expertise of our community.”

Last week, NYCEDC announced that Microsoft has joined the effort to diversify New York City’s tech sector and create more accessible pathways to good-paying jobs for communities around Union Square. Microsoft has provided a $100,000 grant to Civic Hall for the planning and development of the Tech Training Center.

New York City’s tech sector is stronger than ever, and the City is working to create a clear pathway into the growing industry. In 2016, the tech sector set a new employment record of 128,600 jobs, and number of tech firms in New York City reached 7,600, an increase of 23 percent since 2010. Already a high-paying industry, total wages paid to workers in the sector doubled since 2010 to reach a record $18.9 billion in 2016.

New York City Economic Development Corporation creates shared prosperity across New York City’s five boroughs by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs. NYCEDC works with and for communities to provide them with the resources they need to thrive, and we invest in projects that increase sustainability, support job growth, develop talent, and spark innovation to strengthen the City’s competitive advantage. To learn more about our work and initiatives, please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.