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Mayor Bloomberg Announces 30 Initiatives to Grow New York City's Green Economy

Press Release


Programs to Support and Attract Green Businesses and Entrepreneurs and Provide Specialized Job Training for New Yorkers Will Create 13,000 Green Jobs over the Next Decade

Strengthening Key Industries Like the Green Sector and Taking Steps to Diversify the Local Economy are Part of the Bloomberg Administration’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced a comprehensive plan to grow New York City’s green economy. The 30 initiatives that comprise the plan will support and attract green businesses and entrepreneurs and provide specialized training to prepare New Yorkers for green jobs. The initiatives – which build upon PlaNYC, the City’s comprehensive sustainability plan – will support the creation of 13,000 new jobs, doubling the City’s green sector workforce. Together, they will help foster a supportive environment for the green sector, focused on four target areas that will account for 70 percent of green sector jobs in the City over the next decade: green buildings, onsite renewable energy, carbon trading and finance, and greener neighborhoods. The City is investing more than $7.5 million to implement the initiatives while also leveraging existing City, State and federal stimulus funds. Strengthening key industries and diversifying the economy is an important part of the City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan to create jobs for New Yorkers today, implement a vision for long-term economic growth, and build affordable, attractive neighborhoods.

“We hear a lot about the potential of green jobs as a driver of future economic growth, but often the rhetoric is not matched with a real plan to capitalize on opportunities,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The initiatives we’re announcing today will take advantage of the progressive sustainability practices we continue to put in place in New York City, and will create real green jobs by attracting and growing green businesses and helping the City’s workforce be prepared to meet the demand for green skill-specific jobs.”

“In the past few months, we’ve announced initiatives to bolster key sectors of the New York City economy, including tourism, bioscience, media, technology, nonprofits, entrepreneurialism and industrial businesses along the South Brooklyn waterfront,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber. “Today, we’re unveiling the latest strategy – one to grow green jobs. New York City has the most forward-thinking sustainability plan of any city in the nation – PlaNYC, a cutting-edge real estate industry and an unparalleled, diverse workforce. Combined, these strengths put us in terrific position to capture the growth of a green economy, and our initiatives will capitalize on them.”

Over the past two years, the City worked with more than 20 agencies, conducted 145 stakeholder interviews, and consulted with numerous experts from across the industry to determine the scope of the City’s green sector, identifying a cluster of between 12,000 and 14,000 existing jobs. In addition, the City received over 60 responses to a Request for Expressions of Interest on renewable energy projects it released last year, which led to the development of the renewable energy strategy embedded in this plan. The plan seeks to capitalize on New York City’s inherent strengths and facilitate its transformation to a green economy by (1) driving demand for green products and services through innovative policies; (2) catalyzing economic development through job creation; (3) ensuring that workers have the skills needed to succeed in the green economy; and (4) providing workers and businesses with the information on incentives, technology, and programs they need to spur growth in the green economy.

“With its talented workforce and legacy of innovation, we believe New York City is well-poised to become a leader in green technology,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. “These initiatives are designed to capture the jobs created from this emerging sector and ensure a diverse and thriving local economy, which in turn will secure New York City’s position as one of the most sustainable cities in the world.”

“Through PlaNYC and the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, the City is driving demand for green businesses and jobs,” said Director of the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability Rohit Aggarwala. “These efforts in conjunction with the plan released today will create jobs, reduce energy consumption, generate new green spaces throughout the city, and produce cleaner energy, helping us meet our goal of reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030 while strengthening the economy.”

“The skills of our workforce will be integral to the advancement of our City’s green economy,” said Philip Weinberg, President of the New York City Workforce Investment Board, which is leading the City’s green workforce development initiatives. “We are making significant training investments to ensure that New Yorkers have the skills needed for these emerging green jobs.”

For a complete list of the 30 initiatives, visit nyc.gov. Highlights of the initiatives include:

Develop Urban Technology Innovation Center To address the lack of a major green technology research and development center, the City will partner with an academic institution or NGO to develop an Urban Technology Innovation Center. The Center will drive the creation of new technologies, promote the City as a testing platform for these technologies, and create an inventory of building technology development and deployment projects to share benchmarking data and best practices among building owners. In November, NYCEDC will release a Request for Proposals to select a partner to develop the Center, which is expected to open in 2010.

Establish “Solar Zones” to Encourage Expanded Solar PV Installations: As part of the Solar America Cities partnership, the City was awarded $1 million from the Department of Energy funding to establish several “solar zones,” which will facilitate solar installations in targeted areas by streamlining the permitting process, establishing an ombudsman to oversee implementation, and launching a one-stop website with mapping and incentive information. This proposal builds off a federally-funded study on the Con Edison grid that identified areas of the City that have desirable energy use patterns and adequate roof space.

Build Innovative Solar Project at the Brooklyn Army Terminal: In order to demonstrate the viability of solar PV installation to the private sector, the City will install up to a 500 kilowatt solar system at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park. The system is estimated to generate up to 750,000 kilowatt hours of energy – enough to supply the power needs of 150 City households annually – and offset 400 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Additionally, the system could save the City up to $120,000 in annual electricity costs. NYCEDC will issue a Request for Proposals for this project in December 2009. For a rendering of the installation, visit NYCEDC's press image gallery.

Launch Solar Thermal Grant Program: A study funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) identified New York City as the “most favorable” location in New York State for solar thermal systems which use sunlight to provide heat for hot water and space heating. Despite the fact that solar thermal tends to have a shorter payback period than other renewable energy technologies, there remains a lack of awareness, financial incentives, and regulatory clarity in regard to solar thermal technology. To provide a substantial boost to the number of solar thermal projects in New York City, the City will launch a $1 million pilot project to leverage federal funding (30 percent tax credit) and private capital (30 percent cost share). The project could lead to $3 million to $5 million in solar thermal projects in the next three years. Project installations are expected to begin in early 2010. The NYCEDC-funded projects will also include monitoring equipment so that NYCEDC can study the performance of the systems installed to better understand the financial, technical, and regulatory barriers that must be overcome to foster a sustainable and robust marketplace for solar thermal systems in New York City.

Launch Urban Wind Demonstration Project: Of the 64 submissions to a Request for Expressions of Interest on renewable energy projects in the City released last year, nearly one-third were for building-sited wind projects. The City has responded to this interest by establishing a permitting process that, in absence of national safety standards, will allow for the installation of small wind turbines. The City is also launching an Urban Wind Demonstration, which will provide nominal funding and permitting assistance and help identify building sites to qualified small wind turbine manufacturers. The Demonstration will test the performance and safety of small wind turbine systems installed in a dense urban setting and is expected to launch in Fall 2009. Several wind turbine manufacturers foresee a market for 5,000 to 10,000 installations in New York City over the next decade.

Kick-off Green JumpStart NYC: To address the market gap in qualified talent to fill carbon trading, investment, risk management, and project development roles across the green sector, the City will launch Green JumpStart NYC, a training program to assist displaced or entrepreneurial junior to mid-level employees in exploring opportunities in carbon trading and related green finance jobs. The program run by SUNY’s Levin Institute will offer a training “boot camp,” after which participants will be offered a 10-week unpaid fellowship with a green company with the potential of converting to full-time employment. The first class will begin in early 2010.

Examine City and State Laws Relating to a National Cap-and-Trade System: As a global financial center, the City has the support infrastructure necessary to support the emerging carbon trading market. However, the City faces challenges including a potential for existing state laws to create obstacles in the City’s bid to become a carbon finance hub. To address these challenges, the City is working with the New York City Bar Association to examine City and State laws for areas which might present impediments to growth in the carbon market.

Create Green Knowledge Centers at City Schools: To address the gap in demand for advanced professional skills to implement green initiatives, the City’s Department of Education will partner with Columbia University and the Urban Assembly to develop Green Knowledge Centers throughout the five boroughs. The Centers will aim to create hands-on learning opportunities for students and focus on workforce development, as well as developing skills related to green energy; environmental sustainability; and science, technology, engineering, and math. The first Green Knowledge Center will be located on the Upper West Side at the Urban Assembly School for Green Careers and opened in September 2009. It is one of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) demonstration schools recommended by the Mayor's Task Force on CTE Innovation. The Upper Manhattan Green Jobs Training Academy at Co-op Tech recently received federal stimulus funding to provide GED, ESL and technical skills training in green construction careers. The program will serve disconnected youth, veterans, youth aging out of foster care, and individuals with disabilities residing in Upper Manhattan.

Launch Green Incentives Guide: Sources of funding available to green businesses are diverse and change frequently, making it difficult for companies to identify and understand all opportunities available to them. To assist businesses, the City has updated the Green Incentives Guide (PDF) to include information on funding and incentives available for green businesses in the form of a guide available for download.

About the Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan
The Bloomberg Administration’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan is a comprehensive strategy to bring New York City through the current economic downturn as fast as possible. It focuses on three major areas: creating jobs for New Yorkers today, implementing a long-term vision for growing the city’s economy, and building affordable, attractive neighborhoods in every borough. Taken together, the initiatives that the City has launched to achieve these goals will generate thousands of jobs and put New York City on a path to economic recovery and growth. To learn more about the plan, visit nyc.gov.

Recent Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan announcements to help diversify the

  • A fashion business incubator in the Garment District to help emerging designers grow.
  • Five new initiatives to help strengthen New York City’s cultural sector.
  • A marketing and tourism agreement to boost travel between New York City and London.
  • Broadway had its biggest season ever, selling 12 million tickets generating $943 million.
  • More than 800 retailers throughout the five boroughs participated in Fashion’s Night Out.
  • Resources for workforce training to New Yorkers for jobs in a green economy.
  • ImClone will locate its research headquarters at the City’s new bioscience complex.
  • A plan to create 11,000 permanent industrial jobs on Brooklyn’s working waterfront.
  • Eight initiatives to strengthen the media industry in New York City.
  • New international cruise activity, growing New York City’s 13,000-job cruise industry.
  • Steps to help New York City’s bioscience companies compete for Federal funding.
  • Legislation that will green buildings and create 19,000 construction jobs.
  • Green projects at the Brooklyn Navy Yard are creating more than 1,700 permanent jobs.
  • Comprehensive initiatives to support the nonprofit sector and its 490,000 jobs.
  • New programs to provide training and resources for City’s future entrepreneurs.
  • The start to construction of the International Gem Tower, which will house 3,000 jobs.

Other recent Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan announcements include:

  • Despite the downturn, the City placed New Yorkers in a record 6,800 jobs in 3Q 2009.
  • Stimulus funds to begin training for 90 new FDNY Emergency Medical Technicians.
  • An increase in MWBE contracts in FY 2009, bringing the total to more than $1 billion.
  • The City hosted a bilingual small business seminar for Latino business associations.
  • A $150 million redevelopment plan for the Staten Island Homeport.
  • The approval of Recovery Zone bonds to create 960 jobs in Queens and Brooklyn.
  • The City financed 12,500 low- and middle-income affordable units in the last year.
  • The start of construction of the $148 million East River Waterfront Esplanade.
  • The first housing projects to start using TCAP stimulus funds, creating 2,800 jobs.
  • The start of construction of an affordable housing complex in the South Bronx.
  • Steps to prevent a speculative purchase of Ocelot Capital Group sites in the South Bronx.
  • Plans for the first 120 units of the Seaview Senior housing project in Staten Island.
  • SecondMarket, Inc. will create 367 new jobs in Lower Manhattan through JCRP.
  • $1 million to create a shared commercial kitchen at La Marqueta in East Harlem.
  • The start of construction of a 600-unit mixed-income complex in the Bronx.
  • The start of construction of major improvements to Queens Plaza and Jackson Avenue.
  • $100 million for 14 infrastructure projects across Queens that will create 400 new jobs.
  • The adoption of the City’s plan for Coney Island that will create more than 30,000 jobs.
  • New initiatives to help support Hispanic-owned small businesses.
  • The opening of China Construction Bank’s New York City office.
  • 11 new initiatives to support the financial services sector and promote entrepreneurship.

About NYCEDC
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities. Find us on Facebook to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives. 

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