‘Working people’s agenda’ will expand apprenticeship programs, build housing

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New York Construction News staff writer

A “working people’s agenda” outlined in Mayor Eric Adam’s second state of the city address focuses on jobs, safety, housing and caring for the vulnerable.

“Without a strong working class, this city cannot survive. That’s why, today, I’ve outlined how we plan to build a city for working people, one that is more affordable, safer, cleaner, and more livable,” Adams said. “You need good jobs and pathways to get those jobs, and those jobs need to be able to support a home for you and a family.

“You need to be safer, and you need care — not just in crisis but throughout your lives. These are the things that our administration is working for every day to sustain the workers who make this city possible and build a better city for all.”

One new strategy is to launch an apprenticeship accelerator to connect 30,000 New Yorkers to apprenticeships by 2030. The Accelerator will track all forms of apprenticeship from youth to adults in the workforce — and provide technical assistance to support the expansion of apprenticeship programs by employers, training providers, educational institutions, and labor unions.

Also, a first-in-the-nation, 50,000-sq. ft. innovation space is planned to provide office space, research laboratories, and events and programming space to support the growth of sustainable biotechnology startups and companies, with an emphasis on creating opportunities for women and people of color and bringing greater diversity to the industry.

Other plans announced include:

  • Double the city’s current rate of contracting with minority- and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs) and award $25 billion in contracts to M/WBEs over the next four years and $60 billion over the next eight years;
  • Help 36,000 economically disadvantaged workers and residents of high-poverty communities — including 8,000 construction workers and 28,000 service contract workers — connect to good jobs every year by working with city partners in Albany to finally empower New York City to require companies with city contracts to hire local community members;
  • Ensure every child graduates high school with a clear pathway for the future — whether that is a job, job training, or continuing education.

Housing plan

Building on the  “Get Stuff Built” plan and a goal to meet the need for 500,000 new homes across the city, the mayor will kick off two major community planning processes. In the coming weeks, community engagement will begin with the goals of creating more housing, including rent-restricted housing — in Midtown Manhattan where current zoning only allows for manufacturing and office space, as well as on the North Shore of Staten Island where the administration will pursue expanded waterfront access and flood resiliency, job creation, and mixed-use development.

“Every New Yorker needs a good-paying job, so we are investing in a new generation of apprenticeships, community hiring, and job training,” Adams said in his address.

“Our Working People’s Agenda starts with jobs — not side hustles or occasional gigs but jobs with good pay and good benefits, jobs you can support yourself and a family on, jobs you can build a life around. New York City has added more than 200,000 new jobs over the last year, and our employment growth has outpaced the state and the nation.”

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