About 400 city residents, with roughly half of them from Queens, were hired for jobs at LaGuardia Airport’s new Terminal B concourse, Governor Cuomo announced on Tuesday.
Between August and December 2018, Terminal B’s concession partners hired 374 new employees for the new concourse, ranging from cashiers to managers. 55 percent of those hires were residents of Queens.
“The redevelopment at LaGuardia is transforming the airport into a modern, global gateway for New York, and is providing meaningful jobs to Queens residents at the world-class concessions servicing the new gates,” Governor Cuomo said.”The airport is a critical engine for New York’s economy, and is now translating into local economic opportunity as well.”
The hiring campaign is the result of an outreach effort led by the Port Authority and the LaGuardia Redevelopment Community Outreach team, which has participated in more than 25 job fairs across Queens with multiple private sector and public sector partners.
The effort to bring more Queens residents into the LGA workforce is most evident in the food and retail shops in Terminal B’s first new concourse, which is operated by LaGuardia Gateway Partners.
“LaGuardia Gateway Partners remains committed to not only building a state of the art terminal, but also being a part of the Queens community for years to come, said Stewart Steeves, CEO of LaGuardia Gateway Partners. “Providing job opportunities for local residents plays a crucial role in both offering an exceptional experience for our visitors and in generating economic development throughout Queens.”
The hiring initiative is just one part of Governor Cuomo’s, Port Authority’s and airport partners plan to increase wages and opportunities for those already working at the airport or seeking potential employment there. In Sept. 2018, Port Authority set down a path to increase their minimum wage to $19 per hour for all 40,000 employees by 2023.
In July 2018, Governor Cuomo announced that $1.4 million in new funding will go to the Council for Airport Opportunity (CAO) to build a new office in East Elmhurst/Corona near LaGuardia Airport, in collaboration with Elmcor and NHS of Queens, to focus on providing opportunities for local residents to benefit from the airport’s redevelopment. As a nonprofit organization, the CAO provides airport-related recruitment and job placement services to Queens residents, including those who are minority and disadvantaged.
The CAO, together with the LaGuardia Community Outreach team, partnered with LaGuardia Gateway Partners and concession operators HMSHost, SSP America, Hudson Group and the Marshall Retail Group to ensure Queens residents were given opportunities to join their workforces. Delta Air Lines, which is building a new Terminal C on the eastern side of the airport to replace the existing Terminals C & D, is also working with CAO and its concession operators to target local hires as new jobs become available.
“Queens is home to an abundance of hard working and talented people, which is reflected in the fact that more than half of the nearly 400 new hires at LaGuardia’s Terminal B are from our borough,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “Terminal B is going to be a first-class aviation hub thanks to the skill, dedication and commitment of these new hires.”