Our local community here in South Queens has been particularly hard hit by the current economic climate, and the signs of the economic downturn are everywhere. Countless businesses have been forced to shutter their doors, many thousands of workers are out of work and without paychecks to support their families. Local employment centers are overflowing. For those who have experienced the worst of this economic crisis, it may be difficult to believe that there’s an end in sight.
But there may in fact be a light at the end of the tunnel. With hundreds of construction jobs already awarded to local residents and the promise of permanent staff positions, spillover jobs into the community and job security for thousands more – Resorts World Casino New York is leading the way to building a stronger, more robust economy for South Queens.
Having already invested hundreds of millions of dollars in our community, Resorts World has demonstrated that it will be a major force in Queens and a stimulus for the local economy, bringing new jobs and new revenue that will invigorate our community and help get our talented local workforce back in the game. With that in mind, we must be open, welcoming and even-handed as Resorts World becomes a part of the fabric of our community.
Over the years, I’ve seen companies open up shop in Queens, pledging their support to the community. And after experiencing so many empty promises and unfulfilled commitments over time, it’s no wonder that some people may be wary of a new development like this one during such a challenging time.
But Resorts World is not one of those companies. On the contrary, since the company has opened its doors, it has consistently delivered on its promises and followed through on every one of its commitments to the community.
If the construction workforce at Resorts World is any indication of the company’s commitment to the South Queens community, then there may in fact be a light at the end of the tunnel.
To date, Resorts World has produced more than 900 construction jobs to work the development phase of the project. They have held fast to their commitments to hire minority and women employees, with 54 percent of the construction workforce comprised of minority and female workers and 30 percent W/MBE participation to date.
With the promise of adding another 1,150 permanent positions to the resort’s workforce, the opportunities created by this new project will have a lasting impact on the local community here.
Resorts World has been a successful model for other developments and initiatives currently underway in our community that – along with the Aqueduct project – are gradually beginning to change the tide here in Queens. With the continued revitalization of Downtown Jamaica, the Sutphin Boulevard project and the arrival of another accredited college to the area, The Technical Career Institute, there is a growing sense that Queens is starting down a path to economic recovery and stability.
With such a talented pool of workers right here in our community, we’re making it clear to everyone that South Queens is thriving and our workers are ready and willing to take on new challenges.
Vivian E. Cook Represents Queens’ 32nd Assembly District