Gotham Gazette

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  • Infrastructure Implementation: Apprenticeship Programs are Vital to Building New York Back Better

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    Construction workers (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    With the federal infrastructure bill now law, New York is primed to receive more than $100 billion in direct investment in public works projects across the state, inclusive of upgrades to mass transit systems, roads, highways, and bridges, and other essential and critical elements of New York’s future.

    The diverse array of infrastructure projects soon to break ground statewide also comes with a greater demand for skilled work – work that members of the unionized construction

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  • Coalition Outlines How Next Mayor Should Address Workforce Development During City’s Economic Recovery

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    Workforce development (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Invest in Skills New York City, a citywide coalition part of a state group focused on prioritizing workforce development, recently released a report examining how the city’s workforce development funding is spent and issuing recommendations for the next mayor to improve how that work feeds the city’s economic recovery from the devastation of the covid pandemic.

    In ...

  • Covid Vaccination and the New York City Recovery

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    New York's recovery is happening (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City was the epicenter of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic as it began in the United States. It recorded its first death from the disease on March 1, 2020. The city’s economy also suffered a massive setback during the lockdown in the early months of the pandemic.

    A full job recovery is still several years away and the major problems that predated covid and persisted through it — poverty, homelessness, affordable housing, unemployment and under-employment — are

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  • New Poverty Data Shows Effects of Federal Relief, Prompts Calls for Continued Aid

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    Federal relief arriving (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Despite the coronavirus causing mass death, displacement, and unemployment last year, federal relief staved off the worst of its socio-economic effects and prevented a massive spike in poverty, new Census data revealed this past week.

    While incomes did decline and the national poverty rate increased marginally in 2020, a more expansive poverty measure that accounts for the effect of government programs showed a decrease as millions of people were kept from falling into poverty and

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  • Letter to the Editor: How to Really Prepare Workers for the Construction Industry and Good Middle-Class Jobs

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    Workers rebuilding New York (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    To The Editor:

    A recent op-ed published at Gotham Gazette, co-authored by David Meade, executive director of Building Skills New York, was riddled with classic smoke and mirrors. One might be tempted to believe that Building Skills offers a chance to build public infrastructure with skilled training, safe career pathways, and

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  • Pandemic Spurred Major Jump in Out of School, Out of Work Young Adults in New York City: Report

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    New York City youth (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The number of young adults who are both out of school and unemployed surged during the pandemic after declining for much of the past decade, a new report from the workforce development organization JobsFirstNYC confirmed.

    The analysis, commissioned by JobsFirstNYC and conducted by the analytics firm Chmura, crunched data from the Census Bureau's Community Population Survey to show 27% of 18-to-24

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  • Skills Training is Integral to the Success of the Federal Infrastructure Plan and New York’s Construction Sector

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    Construction workers (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    From the first day of its introduction, the Biden infrastructure plan has been cast as a critical tool to transform our nation’s economy after the upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic.  

    This bipartisan deal aims to pump $1.2 trillion over the course of eight years into repairing and building new roads, bridges, broadband, and electric vehicle infrastructure, creating millions of new, good-paying jobs that will accelerate the covid recovery. 

    With the influx of

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  • As New York’s Economy Recovers, There's a Crucial Role for Internships for People with Disabilities

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    At work (photo: icdnyc.org)


    Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the U.S. unemployment rate for people with disabilities was 2.5 times higher than for those without. The pandemic has had a devastating effect on the employment and job prospects for people with disabilities, but New York’s business and nonprofit communities can play a vital role in the economic

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  • Anti-Poverty Organizations Offer Equity Agenda for Next Mayor

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    Resources for New Yorkers (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    On Thursday, three organizations focused on equity published a report with a broad set of anti-poverty policy recommendations for New York City’s next mayor. Robin Hood, The Century Foundation, and Next100 teamed up for the project, putting forth “From Crisis to Opportunity: A Policy Agenda for an Equitable NYC,” with 150 pages of detailed plans to “get all New Yorkers back on their

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  • Democratic Mayoral Candidates Offer Plans for Jobs and Economic Growth

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    A city resource fair (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    According to the Mayor’s Office, the city experienced a growth of 100,000 jobs from December 2020 to March 2021, and expects to gain 400,000 more to reach a total of 4.5 million jobs by the end of 2021. Even as economic indicators have been headed in the right direction in recent months -- including significant job growth -- amid public vaccination, some easing of

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  • The Next Mayor Must Finally Address Our Commercial Affordability Challenge

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    (photo: Edwin J. Torres. Mayoral Photo Office)


    New Yorkers know that love of neighborhood is synonymous with love of small businesses. But in 2020, we suddenly learned just how thin the reserves of our shops, restaurants, and bars can be. Many New Yorkers responded by doubling down on that love of local; meanwhile, too many businesses felt deeply let down by their elected officials as they faced mounting rent debt and great uncertainty. And so when small business owners vote in June’s Democratic primary to elect the next mayor, many will be voting

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  • Tech Jobs in the City are Growing; Here's How to Make Sure New Yorkers Can Fill Them

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    Robotics and tech ed (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    With more than half-a-million New Yorkers out of work amid a painful economic downturn, the continued growth of tech positions stands out as a beacon of economic recovery. Connecting more residents with these jobs presents an important opportunity for the next mayor to get New Yorkers working again.

    Despite months of grim economic news, tech firms have continued to double down on New York City. Over the past year, companies including Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Netflix have signed new

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  • Democratic Mayoral Candidates Offer Ideas on Workforce Development and Jobs

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    Workplace dynamics are changing (photo: Philip Kamrass/Governor's Office)


    Three Democratic candidates for mayor of New York City spoke at a forum Wednesday evening about their visions for restoring and enhancing the city's workforce going into the pandemic recovery.

    Eric Adams, Shaun Donovan, and Kathryn Garcia -- all considered among the top eight leading candidates in the competitive primary race and all veterans of New York City government -- discussed how they would harness the city's resources to create quality jobs in the hour-long forum,

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  • What is New York City Doing to Prepare Its Workforce for the Post-Pandemic Economy?

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    Resource Fair (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    With the announcement Friday of a $155 million investment in small businesses, including $5.5 million for workforce development programming, Mayor Bill de Blasio staked a foothold along a critical frontier in New York City's pandemic recovery: preparing workers for the changing economy.

    The city's economy was devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the unemployment rate jumping fivefold to a high of over 20% last June. In-person jobs have contracted significantly, especially in hospitality, nightlife, retail, and

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  • New York City Should Start Preparing Now for a Biden Infrastructure Plan

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    New Yorkers at work (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    A major new federal infrastructure investment seems increasingly likely this year. During the campaign, then-candidate Joe Biden proposed a $2 trillion infrastructure plan to boost the economy and tackle climate change. President Biden now has signaled that he intends to move his Build Back Better plan forward later this month, and it could have bipartisan support.

    New York City should start preparing to seize this opportunity. 

    Few other cities would benefit more from a public

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  • Video Brief: The Economy and the 2021 Election

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    A ribbon-cutting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In this episode, we discuss the issues of the economy and jobs, and key aspects of what candidates in the 2021 New York City elections are considering, should be asked by voters, and more.

  • Leveraging City Assets and Community Input to Jumpstart Our Economic Recovery

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    Construction workers at work (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    As our city stays focused on managing what we hope to be the final chapter of the COVID-19 pandemic, we also need to keep thinking proactively about driving a strong and just economic recovery.

    It’s no secret that in my Brooklyn district and across the five boroughs, there’s a long road ahead. Our official citywide unemployment rate is now hovering around 12%, with the highest jobless rates still in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

    A recent report showed that year-to-date filings for new

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  • Out of School and Out of Work, City's Disconnected Youth Have Steep Hill to Climb, Report Says

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    Mayor de Blasio at an announcement (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    The pandemic's greatest health impact has fallen on older New Yorkers, but its economic effects are being deeply felt by the city's young adults.

    The number of young people who are both out of school and jobless in New York City -- so-called "disconnected youth" -- has likely doubled since the coronavirus roiled the city beginning last spring, according to a new and long-awaited report from

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  • Immigrant, Black, and Brown New Yorkers Need Albany to Deliver a Recovery for All

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    New York budget season has begun (photo: Make The Road New York)


    Immigrant, Black, and brown New Yorkers have experienced unspeakable losses and suffered catastrophic economic consequences throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Community members have lost loved ones and lost jobs at disproportionate levels, and struggled week after week to try to pay their rent and feed their families. And they have made very clear that they expect bold, transformational solutions from state government to meet the scale of the need.

    Unfortunately, Governor Cuomo

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  • Despite Assurances, De Blasio Yet to Release Recovery Plan for City's Devastated Economy

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    Mayor de Blasio at his September announcement (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    New York City went into partial lockdown in March as the coronavirus ravaged the population, bringing a once booming economy to its knees and leaving the city teetering on the edge. The immense flock of tourists ground to a halt; the flow of suburban commuters reduced to a trickle; an untold number of residents fled the five boroughs; “non-essential” businesses were forced to shutter at least temporarily; and people were told to stay inside but for essentials. Many thousands fell

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  • CUNY Chancellor on What's Next for the Public University System and New York's Recovery

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    CUNY Chancellor Matos Rodriguez (photo: Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez)


    For the City University of New York’s hundreds of thousands of students and millions of alumni, the largest urban university system in the United States has long served as a springboard. A 2017 study by Harvard economist Raj Chetty and coauthors, ranked five CUNY schools in the top 10 of their economic mobility index, meaning these schools have achieved high success in propelling lower-income students to

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  • Letter To The Editor: One Key for the Governor’s New 'Commission on the Future of the New York Economy'

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    Governor Cuomo at a factory (photo: governor's office)


    To The Editor:

    As Gotham Gazette recently reported, “Cuomo Focuses on Economic Revival in Second 2021 State of the State Speech,” Governor Cuomo presented a seven-point agenda for economic recovery in New York, including a new “commission on the future of the New York economy” led by the NYU Wagner School of Public Service. The commission will be given the crucial task of

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  • New Yorkers Must Push Candidates Hard for Economic Recovery Vision

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    We’ve all been watching events in Washington, D.C. with horrified amazement and trepidation. 

    Regardless of Washington, New Yorkers have work to do at home. We’ve been living through a pandemic for just about a year. Everyone in New York is aware we face major budget crises at the state and city levels. Resolution of our fiscal problems is one of the biggest

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  • The City’s New Plans to Help Disconnected Young Adults

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    Mayor de Blasio with city youth (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged New York City since early last year has presented daunting challenges for our youth and young adults. Students from pre-kindergarten through college have missed out on months of in-person instruction, not to mention the countless everyday interactions beyond the classroom that help them discover who they are and who they want to be. Young adults who held jobs before COVID-19 are disproportionately likely to have fallen out

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  • Cuomo Focuses on Economic Revival in Second 2021 State of the State Speech

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    Gov. Cuomo during his second 2021 SOTS speech (photo: governor's office)


    In his second of four planned State of the State speeches this week, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday outlined a plan to revive New York’s struggling economy, get New Yorkers back to work, and to prepare them for jobs that adapt to a post-covid future.

    In his first speech on Monday, Cuomo presented a broad

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