Proving once again that the Queens tech community is at the forefront of the city’s fastest growing sector, the de Blasio administration awarded micro-grants to seven joint ventures that all specialize in workforce development.
One of the joint ventures includes LaGuardia Community College and another brings together Queens Public Library, Urban Upbound and Pursuit, formerly known as Coalition for Queens, which will develop plans for the city to amplify the training and hiring of underrepresented New Yorkers in tech and other in-demand sectors.
“New York City is a technological hub that has quickly become home base to many fast-growing, innovative sectors of business and finance. Many New Yorkers, however, are unable to access or grow within the tech industry or other in-demand sectors,” Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney said. “I applaud the de Blasio administration and NYCEDC for their work to improve the training and hiring of underrepresented New Yorkers through this grant program and their dedication to strengthening to diversity of our financial industries.”
The grants, which total $550,000, were awarded to the joint venture which are expected to deliver a mix of actionable blueprints for employers and training providers, focused on recommendations to policymakers and funders, and specific programming ideas.
“With the continued historical loss of industrial jobs, we need these important services,” said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan. “Western Queens cannot just be a residential community, we need workforce development.”
Initiatives like the Department of Small Business Services’ Tech Talent Pipeline Web Development Fellowship, a free program that prepares New Yorkers to launch new careers in web development, and CUNY 2x Tech, a public-private partnership that seeks to double the number of tech bachelor’s degrees from CUNY colleges between 2017 and 2022 are emblematic of the city’s efforts to ensure New Yorkers from a diversity of backgrounds are well-equipped for roles in the tech sector.
“We applaud NYCEDC for leading this bold initiative to ensure that 21st-century jobs in the fast-growing tech sector are accessible and inclusive to all New Yorkers,” said Gail O. Mellow, president of LaGuardia Community College. “We’re eager to get to work with our partners, HR&R Advisors and JFF, bringing best practices from our college’s years of working in lockstep with employers to create pathways for our students, many of whom come from traditionally marginalized communities, to develop their personal agency and move up the socioeconomic ladder.”
Mellow is stepping down as president next month after nearly 20 years at LaGuardia’s Long Island City campus.