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NYCEDC Seeks Firm to Develop Dedicated Workforce Assistance Plan for Willets Point Employees

Press Release


New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) in partnership with the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) today issued a Request for Proposals to develop a Workforce Assistance Plan for the workers in the Willets Point section of Queens. The selected vendor is expected to develop an outreach and enrollment strategy to maximize participation in the program. A majority of the workers are employed by auto-related and light industrial operations. The successful respondent will create an 18-month program for training and placement services to begin following the public approval process (ULURP) and continue through the end of 2009. Proposals must include a needs analysis to identify the services most needed by the Willets Point workers.

“At Willets Point, the City has the opportunity to transform a contaminated area into a model mixed-use, ‘green’ neighborhood,” said NYCEDC President Robert C. Lieber. “But with that opportunity comes a responsibility to those people who have worked in the area for years. We are committed to doing all we can to ensure that these workers are trained, equipped and connected to new work opportunities, and this Workforce Assistance Plan will help us deliver on that commitment.”

“The creation of a workforce assistance plan will help upgrade the skill sets of workers in Willets Point and place them in jobs with strong pathways to self-sufficiency, while the redevelopment of the area will grow and sustain employment in the community,” said SBS Commissioner Robert W. Walsh.

“As we move forward with a new vision for Willets Point, we must never lose sight of the needs and futures of the workers currently on the site,” said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. “I fully support this Workforce Assistance Plan. It will provide the services and programs that these workers need. I look forward to working with EDC and the Mayor’s team and all interested parties as we move forward to transform Willets Point. I have consistently stated that no redevelopment plan could move forward without providing assistance that includes a relocation plan with job training and support services for workers.”

The Willets Point Master Plan, announced by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in May, outlines the transformation and remediation of the contaminated 60-acre area into a vibrant, mixed-use district with affordable housing, office and retail space, new parks and playgrounds, a new public school, cultural and community uses and a state-the-art convention center and hotel. The redevelopment is expected to create 20,000 construction jobs and 6,100 permanent jobs for a total economic impact on the New York City economy of more than $5.8 billion over the next 30 years.

“Willets Point is home to more than 1,300 hard-working employees and ensuring that these workers are treated fairly and have the opportunity to continue to work and advance is a major priority for me,” said Councilmember Hiram Monserrate. “I am pleased to work with EDC and SBS to develop and implement a plan that will accomplish that goal.”

NYCEDC will use a variety of criteria to evaluate the proposals, including organizational experience and a track record serving a similar population, as well as the strength of the approach to the needs analysis. Successful respondents will also demonstrate clear connections to local organizations for outreach and recruitment as well as services that address the specific needs of an immigrant population.

To obtain a copy of the complete RFP, visit www.nycedc.com/rfp. Interested parties are urged to attend an informational meeting on Monday, September 24, 2007 at the offices of NYCEDC. Responses to the RFP are due by 4 p.m. on October 18, 2007.

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.

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