Thousands of jobs will be coming to southeast Queens as part of the $13 billion JFK International Airport redevelopment and Governor Cuomo announced the first in a series of initiatives targeting employment opportunities, business opportunities, and training and education resources that will benefit local neighborhoods.
“As we move forward with the modernization of JFK Airport, we want to ensure that the historic transformation of the airport will also lift up the surrounding Queens communities,” Cuomo said. “These initiatives will support businesses and help the local community find new jobs, providing an additional regional economic boost as we enter the next phase of the airport redevelopment.”
The JFK Redevelopment Community Advisory Council, co-chaired by Congressman Gregory Meeks and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, will launch a major job recruiting program for the 15,000 jobs at the airport and the 4,000 construction jobs that will be created by the five-year construction program which is scheduled to begin next year.
“I am proud to announce these new initiatives, which will further ensure that contracts are going to local businesses, that the people of Queens will find meaningful employment, and that investment is being made in our schools to prepare students for the STEM careers of the future,” Meeks said. “This combined with the MWBE commitments we’ve already secured will make the JFK redevelopment not just investment in our infrastructure, but an investment in the working families of Queens.”
The JFK jobs program will enhance outreach to underserved neighborhoods in Jamaica, Far Rockaway and the surrounding communities.
“The JFK Redevelopment Project has the greatest potential to bring quality jobs and extensive economic development to southeast Queens in a very long time,” state Senator James Sanders Jr. said. “The governor’s initiative towards matching workers, entrepreneurs and youth with these opportunities is a worthy first step, since it is only fitting that these people who are most affected by the redevelopment reap the most benefits.”
A new Far Rockaway office at the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation will open in the spring and will have four dedicated staff members focused on connecting local residents to new employment opportunities. Additional outreach and recruiting support staff will be based at the Council for Airport Opportunity’s main Jamaica office.
“We are delighted with the work of the JFK Advisory Council in developing these new programs,” Councilman I. Daneek Miller said. “Our priority from day one has been ensuring that this process includes benefits to our constituents in southeast Queens, and the programs announced today will go a long way in doing so. The initiatives touch on a lot of different needs in our community, from jobs to educational opportunities, and we look forward to their implementation.”
Other programs will include a second chance employment initiative will be targeted toward formerly incarcerated people, a new science and technology program for 300 local students to steer them toward careers in aviation, and concession opportunities for local retailers and restaurants. Plus, the Port Authority and JFK Airport will roll out extensive training programs to enable small businesses to qualify and compete for other future concession opportunities.
“The $13 billion redevelopment of Kennedy Airport is more than a crucial investment in the infrastructure of our city. It is a steadfast commitment to creating opportunities — be it employment, economic or educational — for the growing families who call the adjacent neighborhoods home,” Katz said. “Local and second chance hiring, engaging neighborhood small businesses and uplifting the next generation of aeronautic engineers are pillars of this redevelopment plan, and these initiatives will be hallmarks of this overhaul of Kennedy into a top-flight airport befitting of Queens and of New York in the 21st century.”