By Bill Parry
Maspeth resident Adrian Bordoni, who has been a teacher for nearly 20 years, got into the community-building business in 2011. That’s when he became the executive director of Woodside on The Move, a grassroots nonprofit that is dedicated to making the community a better place to live, work and do business.
At the opening of a new state-of-the-art technology lab last year, U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) said, “Woodside on the Move has been filling in the cracks around here since 1976,” the year in which the organization was founded. The group sponsors programs to further tenant advocacy, affordable housing, youth development, senior services and the arts.
It also supports the business community.
“Since we expanded our business services, you could say we operate like a Business Improvement District but without the scope,” Bordoni said. “We have programs and efforts to support local business with small business workshops where we teach banking and how to use social media.”
Woodside has gone from being a predominantly Irish and Italian neighborhood to a more multicultural one in the last couple of decades.
“We’ve seen all the changes as Woodside has become more diverse and with the changes in demographics there are different needs,” he said.
That’s why the tech lab was so important.
“Nobody in our community should be left behind in this digital age because of cultural or economic barriers,” he said. Built with a grant of $55,000 from Time Warner Cable, the computer lab is used by users who range in age from 5 to 85.
“We have computer classes for all ages, from after-school kids to grandparents who can finally sit down and learn computers at their own pace,” Bordoni said.
Woodside on the Move also runs community events such as music festivals, Weekend Walks in concert with the Department of Transportation, the annual Taste of Woodside to promote the area’s restaurants, holiday lighting and the “Woofside” Halloween dog parade.
“I may live a few miles away in Maspeth, but I spend most of my time in Woodside,” Bordoni said. “And I still teach at Queensborough Community and John Jay College as well.”
Woodside on the Move is committed to the continued improvement of its programs and seeks new possibilities, such as economic development through tech incubators. The organization’s priorities include anything that will keep Woodside “moving towards a better, safer, and prosperous” future, he said.
And that future will include Bordoni.
“You can see that you make a difference in a job like this,” he said. “I feel like a part of the community, I go to Chamber of Commerce meetings and community board meetings. There’s always something going on around here and I can see myself staying for a long time.”