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Press Release

Microsoft Provides Grant to Civic Hall for Tech Training Center in Union Square

Aug 01 2018

$100K Grant Will Support Development of Digital Skills Training Center – Strengthening Connections Between Neighborhoods, Training Providers, and Job Opportunities

Part of the New York Works Plan, Tech Training Center will Create Over 600 Jobs

NEW YORK, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today 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, which pairs digital skills training with flexible space for tech companies to grow and hire within the building. The Tech Training Center, which began the public approval process earlier this year, is a key component of Mayor de Blasio’s New York Works plan to create 100,000 good jobs over the next ten years.

“The Union Square Tech Training Center will develop a physical access point to our tech sector – connecting New Yorkers to digital skills and quality job opportunities within the same building,” said James Patchett, President and CEO, NYCEDC. “We’re thrilled that Microsoft is supporting our efforts to diversify this fast-growing industry, and to ensure that every New Yorker has a chance to participate in a 21st century economy.”

“Microsoft is excited to deepen our partnership with Civic Hall on its planned center in Union Square to ensure that more New Yorkers can receive the skills training needed to find jobs and economic opportunity in the growing tech ecosystem,” said Mary Snapp, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Philanthropies.

“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”

“We are looking forward to the positive impact the Tech Training Center will have on the city, especially on the communities surrounding the Union Square area,” said Joshua Wein, Financial Director of RAL Development Services. “As an integral part of our vision for an ecosystem that focuses on providing high quality affordable education that allows entry to the 21st century workforce, the Digital Skills Training Center will provide local residents with scholarships and pathways to quality jobs with emphasis on students, teachers, immigrants, and those with legal or physical barriers. The Training Center will also provide digital training for the elderly, not for profits, government employees, and others who seek better technology skills.”

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. The Microsoft grant will enhance the Tech Training Center project by funding planning and development of programs suited to our community. This grant will coordinate services and work with workforce development to best develop career training and paths in the tech sector."

The 240,000 square foot project will create a multi-level ecosystem for diversifying talent and growing the next generation of companies and industries. The workforce development center, operated by Civic Hall, will span across three floors to serve tens of thousands of New Yorkers a year. The center has established partnerships with industry-leading training organizations such as Per Scholas, FEDCAP, CUNY, Mouse, and General Assembly.

The grant from Microsoft will help the Tech Training Center become a global model for workforce development, addressing the needs of New Yorkers while developing an adaptable curriculum to meet evolving expectations of modern employers. In planning for the center, Civic Hall will convene many of the city’s workforce development stakeholders, develop efficiencies for shared services, and build and strengthen career pathways within the city’s tech sector.
Specifically, the grant will help Civic Hall develop:

  • Benchmarks for shared services, data models
  • Shared training curriculum to serve a wide-range of organizations and constituencies
  • Survey-efforts for local organizations to understand evolving local needs
  • Improved connections between citywide training providers and employers

By finding opportunities to pull complementary activities into one platform, participating organizations will have lower overhead costs, better coordination, and opportunities to share other resources such as curriculum, teachers, equipment, staffing and data. These aligned activities will create greater synergies, savings, and impact.

Civic Hall will also continue to bring together workforce providers with the technology community and major technology employers like Microsoft to ensure that NYC’s workforce ecosystem is aligned with the changing workforce and skills landscape as the technology which is currently used will rapidly change.

Working with Microsoft’s Cities and Philanthropies teams, Civic Hall will identify other collaborators among employers, training organizations, and community groups – especially those active in New York – in order to ensure that their perspectives on the changing nature of tech and jobs, experience with specific training and hiring models, training materials, and how tech can be used to facilitate the collaborative and evolving approaches to training are all incorporated into this work.

In addition to the training facility itself, the Tech Training Center project 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.

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.