- Stronger Communities
- Economic Growth
Posted on 5/30/2013
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio today called for a sweeping overhaul of the City’s economic development policies to lift New Yorkers out of poverty and reduce rampant income and economic inequality.
In a speech delivered at the New School this morning, de Blasio credited the Bloomberg Administration with fostering growth in new industries to replace the declining financial sector. But he warned the lack of middle-income job creation and the failure to connect the city’s workforce with key industries and new firms locating here has worsened economic inequality and intensified persistently high unemployment in the outer-boroughs.
To raise the floor for working people, de Blasio proposed the elimination of wasteful and ineffective economic development subsidies, and reinvestment of the approximately $250 million in annual savings into education, workforce training and further diversification of the city’s economy—particularly in outer-boroughs neighborhoods. De Blasio called for new pipelines from the city’s schools and workforce development programs to good-paying career paths, including training graduates of city high schools and CUNY to fill all available local nursing jobs and a majority of skilled tech jobs.
“We can’t keep fostering growth at the very top of the economic ladder while New Yorkers further down the economic ladder have nowhere to climb. These policies have put us on a path to becoming a ‘Tale of Two Cities.’ It’s unsustainable to see this kind of income inequality, and it will only change when we raise the floor and start lifting people up,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
De Blasio’s plan calls for eliminating poor-performing subsidies and initiatives like the Industrial and Commercial Abatement program, while strengthening performance criteria for remaining projects. De Blasio would direct the resulting savings—growing to approximately $250 million annually—to the following priorities:
- Restoring CUNY’s role as the preeminent pathway to opportunity for all graduating New York City high school students, reversing the cuts of the Bloomberg years and bridging the gaps from high school to workplace mentoring, apprenticeship and job placement.
- Creating economic development hubs in every neighborhood to coordinate local job creation, promote higher wage standards, grow new industry clusters and administer a new revolving loan fund to help entrepreneurs in emerging sectors to start and grow businesses.
- Training 16,000 New Yorkers for nursing positions, for which health facilities currently recruit abroad.
- Filling at least half of all skilled technology-related jobs with NYC graduates by aligning Career and Technical Education programs and CUNY with the growing sector.
- Protecting Industrial Business Zones from encroachment by hotels, retail stores and illegal residential conversions.
- Facilitating expansion of nascent industries like 3D printing that can thrive in workspaces too small for mass-scale industry.
- Ensuring all public contracts include workforce development and quality job placements for low-income New Yorkers, especially in construction projects.
- Ending the ticketing blitz on small businesses, and using local economic development hubs to market their goods and services to larger institutions.
- Increasing take-home pay and access to benefits in low-income communities by adopting more comprehensive living wage and paid sick leave policies that raise the floor for working people.
Read the full plan: www.advocate.nyc.gov/jobs