Rockaway YMCA partners with Queens lawmakers to host job fair

(Photo courtesy of the Far Rockaway YMCA)

The Rockaway YMCA co-hosted an in-person job fair with City Councilwoman Selvena Brooks-Powers on Friday, March 18 to help residents find employment and recover financially as the city moves forward amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Brooks-Powers represents Council District 31 which includes the neighborhoods of Arverne, Brookville, Edgemere, Laurelton, Springfield Gardens, Rosedale and Far Rockaway

The event, held at the Rockaway YMCA located at 207 Beach 73rd St., was sponsored by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Senator James Sanders Jr., Assemblyman Khaleel Anderson and New York City Comptroller Brad Lander.

Lyft provided a ride code for anyone who needed assistance with transportation to or from the job fair.

“The city has seen unprecedented job losses during the pandemic, with Queens in particular suffering deep levels of unemployment,” Brooks-Powers said. “I’m thankful to the Rockaway YMCA and Lyft for stepping in to ensure we have a great event that will result in success for my district’s residents, some of whom have been struggling to find steady work over these last devastating two years.”

Michael Garcia, executive director for the Rockaway YMCA, said they’re looking forward to a strong turnout and even greater future community partnership opportunities at the YMCA. 

“As a proud community partner, the Rockaway YMCA is excited to be hosting this job fair with our dedicated elected officials and Lyft,” Garcia said. “We are so happy that job fair participants were able to use Lyft to visit our job fair from all parts of the peninsula.” 

According to Larry Gallegos, New York community strategist for Lyft, throughout the pandemic, the company has continually engaged with the community to support those most impacted by the health crisis. 

“Our hope is these ride codes will help connect job seekers in Queens with the opportunities they need during these uncertain times,” Gallegos said. 

While the pandemic hit New York City particularly hard, causing massive job losses and economic hardship for many, DiNapoli said the city is slowly recovering, but more needs to be done. 

“The pandemic is not over but we’re all doing our best to move forward,” DiNapoli said. 

Anderson, who also represents the district, was proud to join forces with Brooks-Powers to address the urgent need to connect Far Rockaway residents with gainful employment opportunities. 

“We must ensure that working-class Black and Brown families hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic who continue to struggle with unemployment and underemployment have a fair chance to make ends meet, keep up with the rising cost of living, and improve their quality of life,” Anderson said. “I look forward to working with the Councilwoman to promote workforce development, ensure upward mobility, and to help achieve economic stability for residents in these challenging times.”